What Caused the Massive D.C. Public School Graduation Scandal?

Washington, DC, graduation scandal | IN 60 SECONDS
Washington, DC, graduation scandal | IN 60 SECONDS

For a decade, Washington, DC, has been a national model for school reform. Then, in January, an audit showed 1/3rd of graduates should not have received dipl...


In the District of Columbia, graduation rates skyrocketed after a series of changes, and more students got into college. However, these rates of graduation and college admission left out a key detail about what was really going on in the public school system.

An audit in January revealed that nearly one-third of graduates from D.C. public schools did not really qualify to graduate. In reality, it was corner-cutting and gamesmanship that created a false picture. The "uncritical gaze" is what really led the reformers astray.

Education mastermind Rick Hess discussed the graduation scandal and what caused it. In his assessment, the manner in which the reforms were made led to a mentality that was heavy on cheerleading and light on criticism.

He explains in the attached video.