An article in the Denver Post by Peter Huidekoper, Jr. explains that recent higher graduation rates aren’t being accompanied by improved educations. There are “…several high schools where the four-year graduation rate is impressive but the (low) ACT scores and (high) remediation rates are not.” Apparently the ACT test given in the 11th grade is the one remaining “…assessment that matters.” The article discusses examining the ACT scores for 2012 juniors, 2013 senior graduation rates, and remediation rates for those who entered a Colorado college the next fall.
The data studied by Huidekoper showed a clear correlation between ACT test scores and graduation and remediation rates. “For students with ACT scores 21 and above nearly 90 percent graduate and remediation rates are exceptionally low. Graduation rates decrease and remediation rates increase as ACT scores drop. Westminster High (in my home city) had an ACT average score of 16.3, a surprisingly high graduation rate of 76.9%, and “…most of those graduates who went on to college required remedial classes.”
The author gives many more examples of generally depressing data. The “…staggering statewide remediation rate of 34.2 percent does not include nearly half of the 2013 graduates who did not go on to college.” It is clear that there an appallingly small number of seniors who receive a high school diploma and are “college ready.” The author asks whether “…a diploma from a Colorado high school truly stands for something.”