Graduation-Rate Data Not So Important

by George Leef

In today’s Pope Center Clarion Call, my colleague Duke Cheston and I examine a recent AEI paper arguing that students and parents should be leery of schools with low graduation rates and arguing that the federal government should require that grad-rate data be prominently displayed on communications. We are not convinced that low graduation rates are necessarily bad (just because many students who enroll fail to do what’s required to graduate from the school doesn’t mean that it’s “failing” them; nor does a high graduation rate mean that students have learned anything) and we think that the suggested requirement would have perverse results.