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The Tennessean: More High School Diplomas Aren’t Translating to Higher Achievement

• ExcelinEd

An article published yesterday in The Tennessean brings attention to a growing divide in education: the gap between what’s needed to earn a high school diploma and what is expected of high school graduates once they enter the real world.

Our country has made substantial progress in eliminating “dropout factories” and bringing graduation rates up to all-time highs.  We should be proud of this accomplishment, but at the same time we must work to ensure that those diplomas actually mean something. Too many students fall into a gap after graduating and are unprepared for life beyond high school. They become trapped in jobs, lacking the skills needed for advancement. They are placed in remedial courses in college, accumulating debt without accumulating credit, and most likely, end up on the path to never graduate college.

In an effort to raise the quality of diplomas, the majority of states are pushing forward with implementing the Common Core State Standards, a set of higher academic standards for English and math. These states should be commended for expecting more of students and working to prepare them for life.

“You can’t just graduate kids from high school,” Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said. “You have to graduate them with the skills to be able to succeed. At least, as of last year’s senior class, too many Tennessee kids were leaving school without the skills they needed.”

Read the rest of this story here.

Learn more about the need for meaningful academic standards here.

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