About a third of Tennessee students who graduated from high school in 2015 did so without earning the necessary credits. That revelation came late last month in a report by the state’s education department — a report meant to explore why so many Tennessee students are having trouble in college. For the first time, state officials led an audit to see whether graduates were fulfilling the state’s graduation requirements. One in three were not.
The state requires graduates to take at least 22 high school credits, the report explains, “including four English and math courses, three science courses, four social studies courses, and two foreign language courses.”
Where were students coming up short? According to the report, “most commonly, students were missing either the two foreign language credits or the specific required social studies courses. For social studies, some students had taken a sufficient number of classes but failed to complete the exact courses specified by state policy.”
This comes just a few months after Tennessee took a bow for steadily improving its high school graduation rate. In the 2015-16 school year, the state raised its rate by nearly a percentage point, to 88.5 percent.