The headline is: Florida High School Graduation Rate is Highest Ever.
The Orlando Sentinel has reported that the Florida State Department of Education has announced that the state’s graduation rate is now 80.1 percent. The graduation rate for Hispanics is 77.3 percent and that for Black students is 68.4 percent.
These are extraordinary numbers.
Just how extraordinary are they? The newspaper notes that:
In Lost Opportunity: A 50 State Report on the Opportunity to Learn in America, the Schott Foundation for Public Education establishes a metric for determining the opportunity to learn for students. Providing a state-by-state comparison of both academic proficiency (percentage of students scoring at or above proficient on the eighth grade NAEP reading exam) and equity (as measured by the Schott Foundation’s Opportunity to Learn Index, or OTLI), Lost Opportunity identifies the four baseline minimum resources that are necessary for a child – regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status – to have a fair and substantive Opportunity to Learn.
In the United States, every student should have the equal right to a high-quality education. But as our most recent data demonstrates, for far too many students, quality and equity are aspirations, not realities. Few states are providing public school educations that result in academic proficiency for students. And even fewer states are providing access to a high-quality education to all students, particularly those from historically disadvantaged groups.
The standards and accountability movement, to which many politicians subscribe, has had a rough couple weeks, particularly in Florida. Former Florida schools chief Tony Bennett resigned last week after a scandal about his tinkering with school performance statistics. And now, advocates in the state have filed a federal civil rights complaint against the state Department of Education for setting different (and lower) achievement standards for students of color.
The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States. In addition to ranking states on overall child well-being, the Data Book ranks states in four domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community.
Diverse Education Network Rejects 30 Years of Failed Policy,
Calls for New Direction Based on Research, Equity & Supports
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Charter schools get a lot of hype in our nation's education debate, yet proponents of charter expansion consistently overlook serious issues with how these schools can selectively shape their student enrollment.
Today is the 59th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Almost six decades later, students, parents, teachers and advocates across the country are still fighting against education policies that leave students of color and low-income students deprived of the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.
If there's one thing we can all agree on in the midst of budget slashing and a limping economic recovery, it's that kids who go to preschool are better prepared to start learning in school and stand a better chance of graduating and achieving at high levels.