The Dumbing Down of Scholastic Achievement

The Dumbing Down of Scholastic Achievement, by David Clarke.

When all 164 of Washington D.C. Frank W. Ballou Senior High School’s graduating seniors last year applied for and were accepted to college, the whole community — students, teachers, administrators, parents, and education reformers — had reason to celebrate the achievements of these obviously hard-working graduates. With a graduating class the school system considered “academically disadvantaged,” someone in the school district should have smelled a rat. …

Sadly, this happy story collapsed in November, when an investigation by WAMU and NPR found that the much-ballyhooed Ballou graduated dozens of these students despite high rates of unexcused absences throughout their senior year. Half of them missed more than three months of school. One in five was absent more than present. …

Some teachers, saying they felt pressure to pass failing students and get them to graduation, cooperated with the investigation. An internal e-mail shows that in April, just two months before the end of the school year, only 57 students were on track to graduate. Many of the others could scarcely read or write. …

Perhaps even more alarmingly, NPR’s report led teachers from around the country to share similar situations in many other districts. This is a nationwide academic scandal in K-12 urban school districts, not to mention the serious disciplinary issues they have. …

What colleges accepted the kids who can’t read or write?

So these black kids get high school diplomas, then go and try to find a job — and have more difficulty than others with high school diplomas. “Racism” they scream, egged on by the left.