Alarming news today for Denver Public Schools high school graduates: at least half will need to take remedial courses in college. In addition to the extra time needed to take these remedial courses, the students will also be paying college tuition rates for remedial courses. It's easy to make the argument that these students should have been adequately prepared in high school for college courses, but what does a high school diploma mean, anyway?
I've written before about districts that set their high school graduation requirements below minimum college entrance requirements, but isn't giving a diploma to a student who can't enter college without taking (and paying for) remedial courses considered "educational malpractice"?
What does it mean to give a high school diploma to a student? Especially, in a school like DPS's North HS where 71% of the students need remedial courses, does their diploma mean that the students have satisfied "seat time" requirements over a four-year period? What about the students and families who thought they were working towards a diploma that meant they had learned everything they needed to in high school?
Not long ago, ACT's "Forgotten Middle" report found that students who are not on target in eighth grade do not attend and succeed at college. This means that before North HS even gets these students, they're not ready to succeed in high school. So again, the question begs to be asked, "What does a high school diploma mean?"