We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
How can you rate schools by graduation rates? All a school has to do to raise graduation rates is to pass more people. Give them As for showing up. "When all else fails, lower your standards."
Profs who want to keep their jobs will cooperate with that. Seen it many times. It has become extremely difficult to flunk out of colleges these days, even if you try to major in Beer Pong, and whether you play a varsity sport or not. "All shall have prizes." Then, if you are lucky, you might get a cubicle with a computer screen in some HR department.
Ah get born, keep warm Short pants, romance, learn to dance Get dressed, get blessed Try to be a success Please her, please him, buy gifts Don’t steal, don’t lift Twenty years of schoolin’ And they put you on the day shift...
"Twenty years of school and then they put you on the day shift." Unless you are of an energetic American entrepreneurial bent, and want to make things happen instead of letting them happen to you. People with true grit create jobs, they don't look for jobs. Even in a crappy Obameconomy.
Everybody always ought to think about what they can do to build something useful or interesting, now or in the future. That's the American Way. Failure is just a necessary learning experience. I have had costly failures, but I kept plugging away until things worked out and Life knocked some sense into me. Anybody can do that if they want to, and it keeps life stimulating and challenging.
Failure is the best teacher. Success teaches us little - except to keep doing the same thing over and over, like GM and Microsoft and Kodak. Giving up on life's endless opportunities is like a form of death.
W-e-l-l, cooking the books are we now. One of the competitions in nursing school marketing ploys is to disseminate pass rates for the NCLEX exam (boards). Even if someone takes several tries to pass, certain schools will count those second tries in the overall pass rate. A truer metric might be the first-time (test takers) pass rate, however, a few schools have found a way around that one, too: Admit twice the number (or more) of students you can comfortably handle, and then weed out throughout the first semester all except the best, which is (amazingly) the same number your faculty can actually effectively handle (clinicals are very labor intensive). The added benefit to this ruse is that if you are taking advantage of Federal subsidies, you reap all the funds for the overloaded first semester, but don't have to carry the students through the complete curriculum.
A similar scam here in CT is if a student gets transferred from a public school to an alternate (Magnet, Charter, whatever), the funding stays with the public school. There's legislation proposed to have the money "follow the child," but the union leaders will never let that one pass.
I realize that B brought this up in regard to undergraduate education, but grad school may be a little different in that the school has an investment in the student, wouldn't have admitted him/her if they thought he/she couldn't pass, and where else are they going to get a cheap labor force?
We have just the same problem in England. Back in the early Nineties the Conservative government tried to introduce a simple literacy and numeracy requirement into the school curriculum. The educational establishment foiled the attempt.
I was a school governor at the time for an infants' school (5 to 7 year olds). We were supposed to draw up a sort of mission statement. I suggested it should be that every child should leave with a sound foundation of literacy and numeracy. Shock! Horror! You would think I had proposed sending children up chimneys.
It was a stitch up between the teaching unions and the county education office. The statement which eventually emerged started with
"This is a welcoming school" and went on to include this pearl "It is the policy of the school to make the students responsible for their own learning.." When I said the children were too young for that responsibility they looked at me as if I was something really nasty.
I later found that almost every school in the county (up to secondary 12-18 year olds) had adopted this nonsense. It was like a North Korean general election.
Subsequent governments have concealed the damage by allowing examination standards to fall (rather like "quantitative easing with money). But they still turn out 20 -30% of near-unemployable , functionally illiterate youngsters.
I am retired military and now teach in high school.
I have taught in two different states and its all the same.
The point being, you have to go to professional development classes for the school staff and what do they teach? Creative grading, I said to myself you have to be kidding me. They are not teaching creative education or basic education to raise scores but how to grade what you already have to increase grades, therefore creative grading.