from WBIR ...

About one-third of high school students from Tennessee graduated in 2015 without earning certain course credit requirements, according to a report from the Tennessee Department of Education.

The Tennessee Department of Education created the report to find out why Tennessee high schoolers were struggling at the collegiate level.

Nearly one-third of TN high schoolers graduated without all course requirements in 2015

Tennessee Department of Education Report

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fischbobber's picture

Are you implying?

That our governor is misleading us on the real state of education in Tennessee? I'm shocked! Shocked, I say.

bizgrrl's picture

How do students graduate

How do students graduate witbout completing the required courses? Wouldn't that mean the courses aren't required to graduate?

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Guidance counselors and parents

With the disclaimer that I read only the executive summary of this report and skimmed the balance of it, it sounds as if the problem may be that too few guidance counselors (and parents) are available to help students chart their courses toward postsecondary ed.

Tennessee's BEP Blue Book, which summarizes the levels at which the state funds various public ed expenses, indicates that the state covers 70% of the cost of secondary guidance (see page 2) to supply one guidance counselor for every 350 students. The remaining 30% of costs for supplying counselors at that level falls on local government, as does any cost associated with lowering that ratio of counselors to students. Notably, charter schools generally fund and supply counselors at a much, much lower ratio than that--which has a lot to do with why more of their students go on to attend college, I suspect.

My suggestion that parents are also culpable in the problem is largely anecdotal. My personal experience in speaking with parents of soon-to-matriculate high school seniors is that many aren't aware of either the requirements their students must meet to graduate or the requirements they must meet to enroll in postsecondary institutions.

As to how low parent involvement may preclude even a student meeting these requirements from pursuing postsecondary ed, most parents who did not themselves attend college seem quite intimidated by the processes of gaining admission to colleges and securing financial aid.

Locally, Randy Boyd's Knox Achieves program--which morphed first into Tennessee Achieves, then into today's Tennessee Promise program--did go a long way in filling this gap via volunteer mentors. Those volunteers essentially seek to do the jobs our inadequate number of guidance counselors struggle to do. Still, any way you slice it, trying to circumvent this problem of too few paid staffers by annually recruiting a new slate of volunteers is a cheap-assed approach to solving the problem.

As always, Tennessee is getting what it pays for.

bizgrrl's picture

he Tennessee Department of

he Tennessee Department of Education has clarified its findings in a recent report that found one in three high school students graduated without meeting the state's requirements.

The report prompted backlash from superintendents across the state. The department said in a memo Thursday that it didn't do enough to provide a proper context behind the numbers, the Tennessean reported.
...
According to the new analysis, the state found no systematic violation of graduation requirements happening in the state. It also said there were valid reasons why a third of its students weren't meeting certain requirements, including incorrect course-code entry, waivers for course requirements and human error.

Well, I'll be. Was the original report fake news?

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