Journalists and Numbers
This great column details how many journalists just plain have an aversion to numbers. That has always really bothered me. There's a 10-question quiz at the end of the column, and it pains me to realize that many journalists wouldn't score 10 for 10. There's no reason anyone with an education beyond ninth grade shouldn't know all of them. But regarding No. 9, a couple of points: The obvious one is that a 100% graduation rate couldn't possibly be NEAR the top, it would have to be, by definition, the top. I don't think many schools are graduating more than 100% of their students.
But here's the less obvious and more important one: The news media ALWAYS report high graduation rates as if high=good. It never seems to occur to any reporter that a high graduation rate could be the result of pushing students into easy classes, or even outright academic fraud. I'm more impressed by a school with a low graduation rate, as the students who actually graduate obviously did something out of the ordinary.