High School Failure Doesn’t Begin in High School

Michigan reported that the results from the Michigan Merit Examination showed that more than half of the the high school juniors who took the test failed.  Michigan recently revised its high school curricula and made them more difficult.

But the road to school failure doesn’t begin in high schools.  How can a student who enters high school reading on a 4th grade level be expected to graduate from high school reading, at minimum, on the 9th grade level when he or she has failed to improve their reading scores in elementary or middle school?  High schools take “the hit” for school failure when the reality is that students need to improve in elementary and middle schools.

The answer is not so simple.  Because data clearly indicate that retaining a student increases the likelihood of their dropping out between 20% – 90%.  What needs to be done once a student has failed to master material is to build immediate safety nets into the learning process.  That means establishing mentor programs, after-school or Saturday remediation classes.

Till next time.