Earlier this week Allison— CPE’s latest and greatest intern— wrote about our rising national high school graduates rates. She made an excellent point that just because more students are receiving high school diplomas doesn’t mean more students are leaving high school more prepared for life unless the diploma represents that student is ready for the rigors of college— be it a two- or four-year college— or the highly competitive labor market.
Unfortunately, we don’t know for sure whether more of our students are graduating from high school ready for college or a career. The good news is if the Common Core standards live up to expectations than we can be relatively certain that those students who earn a high school diploma are indeed ready for college or the workforce since the Common Core standards were designed specifically to keep students on track to be college and career ready after graduation which is not the case for most state standards as currently implemented. So if the current trend in rising graduation rates continue well after the Common Core standards have been implemented there will be little doubt the more students are graduating high school not only with a piece of paper but with the knowledge and skills they need to either succeed in college or the workplace. That would definitely be something worth celebrating. – Jim Hull