A troubling post-pandemic pattern is emerging across the nation’s schools: test scores and attendance are down, yet more students are earning high school diplomas. A new report from Washington, D.C., suggests bleak futures for many of these high school graduates, given the declining rate of college attendance and completion.
The numbers are stark in a March 2023 report by the D.C. Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization. Almost half the students in the district – 48 percent – were absent for 10 percent or more of the 2021-22 school year. Seven years of academic progress were erased in math: only 19 percent of third through eighth graders met grade-level expectations in the subject in 2021-22, down from 31 percent before the pandemic.
At the same time, the high school graduation rate rose to a record 75 percent, up from 68 percent in 2018-19. Although the city is producing more high school graduates, fewer of them are heading off to college. Within six months of high school graduation, only 51 percent of the class of 2022 enrolled in post-secondary education, down from 56 percent from the class of 2019.
“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”
The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”
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