High school graduation rates skyrocketing under New York's new ‘Fail-Pass’ program

Public education works!  The public school system is filled with an entire bureaucracy of caring teachers and educators, a slumbering anti-meritocracy dedicated to bringing a top level education to students everywhere, especially in the inner cities, as it has done for countless generations.  Nowhere is that more apparent than in New York State, where students until recently had to pass five Regents exams to graduate.  But by graduating students who failed several of the Regents exams, educators found that they were able to significantly boost graduation rates.  What an innovation!

The New York State Education Department said on Friday that the high school graduation rate hit a new high of 79.4 percent in 2016, an increase of 1.3 points from 2015 and more than 12 points from a decade ago.

Bravo to all the educators in New York!

Among other changes, the Board of Regents, the body that governs the state's education system, made it possible for students with disabilities to graduate by passing two Regents exams, rather than five...

I'm a white man who feels disabled by the Obama presidency...do you think they would graduate me if I passed only two Regents exams?

Additionally, the Regents allowed more students to appeal to their districts to graduate despite falling slightly short on one or two Regents exams.

They didn't fail their exams; they fell slightly short!  That's completely different!  Maybe they need a new grade for that.  They can call it D minus minus minus!

The Regents also let students graduate by passing four Regents exams and earning a credential showing that they have the skills for entry-level employment. 

I just hope the skills for entry-level employment don't require passing any tests!

Speaking at a news conference in the Bronx, Mayor Bill de Blasio noted that the share of students who met the City University of New York's standards for college readiness in English and math had hit a high of 37.2 percent in 2016.

Thirty-seven percent.  Wow!  He has reason to be proud!

There was a change in that standard, as well: CUNY lowered its bar for college readiness on the algebra Regents exam[.]

All right, but I still think there's reason for de Blasio to be proud – 37% of students are college-ready, even under the lower standard!  Again, kudos!

The rate for black and Hispanic students is more than 20 percentage points below that of white students, though the gap has narrowed by roughly five points since 2014.

I'll bet that this gap could be reduced to zero if they graduate students who fall "a little short" on all their Regents exams, not just one or two!

"Clearly, we can see that we're going in the right direction," the state education commissioner, MaryEllen Elia, said in a conference call with reporters about the racial achievement gap.


There was a sharp drop in the graduation rate among students still learning English, who are generally recent immigrants. The graduation rate for these students declined to 26.6 percent in 2016 from 33.8 percent in 2015. 

Twenty-six percent!  That's still impressive!  That's more than one out of four students (¡una parte de cuatro!).  This proves that public education works!  Like the Post Office, education works best when parents put a postage stamp on their kids' heads and shove them in a single mail slot, which puts them in the loving, caring hands of a government bureaucracy.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

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