Bad Week for the Narrative: Big Revisions of Graduation Data


It wasn’t a good week for the narrative.  The number of jobs based in Rhode Island slipped back below the pre-recession peak, eroding the governor’s talking points about economic advancement.  And now Dan McGowan reports this on

The R.I. Department of Education disclosed Thursday the state’s four-year graduation rate for the 2015-16 school year was 82.8%, lower than the 85.3% mark the department announced in February.

The change means the percentage of students who entered high school during the 2012-13 school year and completed it during the 2015-16 school year is lower than the 83.2% graduation rate announced in the previous school year. The revised number shows the rate actually dipped slightly in 2015-16, rather than rising.

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Charles Murray’s book, Losing Ground, looked at the effects of government policy on families’ well-being.  It would seem Rhode Island could use a bit of that same thinking, emulating both the focus and the policy implications.

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