Shelbyville High School in Indiana improved its graduation rate from 75% to 90% and proudly claimed a success. How did the school, who was featured in Time magazine's dropout nation", do it? Better course selection, smaller class sizes, encouraging students to stay in school? Well, it was none of them. It turns out that students who didn't want to go to school was offered a "credit recovery program".
While some "credit recovery programs" have rigorous requirements and are limited to one or two courses yearly, many of the "credit recovery programs" lack such rigor and in many cases is bogus when it comes to student academic achievement. At Shelbyville, they interviewed one student who, by his own admission got "F"'s throughout his high school career. Now he goes to the local community college when he feels like it and takes all his courses online. He just loves it, no seat time, no teachers, and he can take the online test as many times as he likes until he passes the course. How long does it take him to finish a course that is supposed to represent a year of learning? How about a few days! It is no wonder he loves the online course alternative to school. Another teen, a single mother who had a baby at 13 also was interviewed and bragged how she can go at her own time and finish a course in a week going part time. When the interviewer asked the Director of the program he claimed it took two months to complete an online course. Who do you think I believe? Not the Director.
Yes, "credit recovery programs" may artificially improve the graduation rate of the school but what of the graduates who exclusively used "credit recovery" to obtain their phony diploma? What the interviewer didn't ask was "credit recovery" the reason for the 15% increase in graduation rates? Probably. Better yet, what happen to these "credit recovery" students once they received their bogus diplomas? Did they go to college? I highly doubt it, did they achieve a high paying job so they can raise a family? Doubtful, or did they continue to struggle and blame society to their own failures. You can guess what I think their future will be.
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