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The Diploma Dilemma: Setting Students Up For Success

What are Carnegie Units or Credits and why are they not a useful indicator of educational attainment?

Carnegie Credits allow students to graduate based on completion of course hours rather than mastery of material. Macke Raymond explains in her article “The High School Diploma Dilemma”:

High schools often use a system known as the Carnegie Credit, which provides course credit based on hours of class time rather than on actual learning. This practice results in significant dilution of course content and the inevitable knowledge gaps that follow.  The practice is widespread: A recent report revealed that a third of advanced high school students never have exposure to, let alone mastery of, core concepts in math and physics by the end of their senior year.

The future prospects of students depend on their receiving a good education. It is not too late to correct the misuse of Carnegie Credits, and it begins by focusing on proficiency over graduation.