By Anya Kamenetz
Officially, the U.S. has a high school graduation rate of 81 percent — a historic high.
But our monthslong investigation, in partnership with reporters at 14 member stations, reveals that this number should be taken with a big grain of salt. We found states, cities and districts pursuing a range of strategies to improve the grad rate:
- Some are mislabeling students or finding ways of moving them off the books. In Chicago, reports Becky Vevea of WBEZ, “the district is misclassifying hundreds of students who enroll in its alternative schools.” District officials say that theyre investigating the issue.
- Schools in places like Detroit and Camden, N.J., are making it easier to get a diploma. In all, 21 states offer alternative, sometimes much easier, paths to graduation.