Alabama: Sweet Home To Soaring Graduation Rates

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

The Yellowhammer state has high school graduation rates that should make the rest of us envious. “More than nine out of 10 Alabama public school students who started the ninth grade in 2013 graduated in 2017 according to data released by the Alabama State Department of Education in June,” Trish Powell Crain writes in “In other words, the high school graduation rate was 90.4 percent, up from 89.2 percent in 2016.”

Yet and still, there may be a gap between the percentage who graduate in four years and the proportion who are ready for life after high school. Alabama officials have made some effort to find how large a chasm this is by poring over standardized tests and post-high school transitions.

Crain shows that “Alabama seven college and career readiness indicators are:

•”Earning a benchmark score in any subject area on the ACT college entrance exam,
•”Earning a qualifying score of 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam,
•”Earning a qualifying score of 4 or higher on an International Baccalaureate (IB) exam,
•”Earning college credit while in high school,
•”Earning a silver or gold level on the ACT WorkKeys exam,
•”Earning a career technical industry credential, or
•”Being accepted into the military.”

According to Crain, “Across the state, when the class of 2017 graduated, 71.4 percent of students who started the ninth grade in 2013 earned one or more of those seven credentials.”