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.
I recently posted about the desirability of attrition in colleges due to substandard performance, expressing the view that low graduation rates are a good, not bad thing, and that they lend some credibility to an expensive piece of paper.
Competitive and highly-selective graduate schools, however, probably should have lower attrition rates as their standards for entry are so relatively high.
My grad program had about a five percent attrition rate, although that is not what the departmental rolls suggest. There are people on the rolls who for all intents and purposes bailed out almost a decade ago. The time to completion is also growing longer. When I started grad school the average in my field to go from beginning MA to PhD in hand was 7 years. Now it is nine and still edging up. I finished in seven and was told that I should not push so hard!
Some medical schools had a planned pyramid system that would flunk out the bottom quintile. That was a long time ago and things may have changed. The school I attended in the 60s, and taught at recently, always planned for all first year students to graduate and lost less than a half dozen from each class in four years.
high failure rate of students can be caused both by poor students and poor teachers.
Depending on graduation requirements, a single poor teacher can cause a high attrition rate.
E.g. when I was in university, one of the courses had a failure rate among students of over 65%. These students (including me) got high grades everywhere else, but failed to graduate because of that single course.
Later took the same course at another institution, with another teacher and course material, and got grades comparable to if not higher than I'd got for all the courses I'd passed first time. Same for the others who switched institutions with me that year.
Another course was saved only or mainly by excellent written course material, all the teacher/lecturer did was recite that same material line by line, never adding any value.
In highschool, one teacher was so bad he got told bluntly by the school board that if even one of his students were to fail to graduate because of a failing grade in his course he'd be fired.
Going the other way I've seen teachers adjusting the grades of entire classes in order to ensure the average grade wouldn't be more than 10% over the minimum passing grade, as well as teachers adjusting them to ensure no more than a fixed, low, percentage of students would fail.
Thus high or low graduation rates in themselves say nothing whatsoever about the quality of the education received, or the quality of the student completing the education.