The number of students completing high school has reached historic peaks, yet other measures of academic readiness for college or jobs are much lower. It sort of made sense, thought Marquel, as he tried to do some quick calculations, which failed of course.
He sat down with one of the New York State regents. “Last year how many seniors passed English?” Asked Marquel.
“66% passed .”
The regent looked up and said “84 ” without using documents.
“That was our milestone. It was our target number for the last year.” He answered.
“Oh yes, we’d decided that was a fair and respectable level considering what they knew and had learned.” the regents said.
The regent nodded.
“Except that instead of failed, 16% more seniors passed, graduated, and received a high school diploma. And felt good about themselves.” The regent added.
“That’s true,” said the regent.
“Yes we worked very hard at this and our target took into consideration virtually everything. So this is a real and valid diploma.” He said.
“But let’s consider last year’s employers. They hired these graduates and some of them couldn’t do diddly squat. Now comes along these graduates with HIGHER GRADES but they know no more. You admitted they’re equivalent. So the employers know that the grades are higher but the competence is lower. What would they logically think of the diploma? The same…better…Or worse?” I asked.
“Well if they look at the metrics, the performances, and the competencies, they’d know this diploma is better.” Said the regent.
“Well that would be very unfair and ignores all the metrics . Plus how much better the students feel about themselves.” He said.
“Who me? Why no, never” he said.
“I can’t imagine it does,” he admitted.