Giving Compass’ Take:
• Kevin Mahnken argues that high school diplomas are losing value as they lose association from measures of value like unemployment, income, and college readiness.
• How will education technology serve to address college and workforce preparedness in high school?
• Read about college and career readiness under ESSA guidelines.
However legitimate the surge in graduation rates — and almost no one contends that they are wholly fictive — the relative value of a high school diploma, as measured by income, college preparedness, jobless rates, and employer confidence, has never been lower.
American schools may have taken praiseworthy strides in helping their students to the K-12 finish line, but there is little reason to believe that they have prepared them any more meaningfully for the challenges ahead.
You can up your completion rates for high school, but not increase the number of students who are proficient in reading and math and ready to go on to the workforce. The opaqueness of those credentials — a high school diploma or even, frankly, a bachelor’s degree — is causing a lot of consternation in the business community.
That lapse of confidence is demonstrated in labor market outcomes. In a 2016 survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 37 percent of employers said that they were hiring college graduates for jobs that used to be filled primarily by applicants who only finished high school. And the median weekly earnings for a high school graduate in 2014 were $668, a drop of nearly 12 percent since 1979.
Read the full article on the value of diplomas by Kevin Mahnken at The 74.
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