Graduation Rates Rise as Test Scores Remain Flat

Late this morning, US president Barack Obama visited a high school in the District of Columbia. He was sharing the great news of high school graduation rates reaching a record high of 83.2 percent. In his speech, Obama was touting the programs and policies his administration had implemented in basic as well as preschool education, obviously tying his record with the improved graduation rates.

The increase in graduation rates from 2010-2015 happened across all student subgroups as seen in the above table.

Graduation rates are, of course, acceptable measures for education outcomes. Unfortunately, being able to graduate is not the only way to gauge how well schools are working. After all, there is mass promotion.

Examining scores in the Nation's Report Card sadly tells a different story. The increase in graduation rates actually comes with either a flat or downward trend in both math and reading scores.

And the above trends appear as well across students' subgroups:



It then appears that more students are graduating over the past five years, but the same number or even less actually reaches basic level in math and reading.