So, you remember that graduation rate “apocalypse” that we heard so much about late last year? Superintendents and other school district officials warned the state board of ed that scads (gobs? boatloads? Who can remember?) of their students in the Class of 2018 would not be able to reach graduation due to the more stringent requirements laid out for them many years earlier? And how unfair that was to them? The situation was predicted to be so dire that the legislature got involved and created several new diploma pathways which required very little in the way of actual academic achievement. Well, the state board of ed yesterday got a little update on the number of students in the Class of 2018 currently on track to graduate via the regular “more stringent” pathway and things look pretty much as they have in previous years. In short: the predicted apocalypse is not actually happening. If only someone had argued thusly in at the time. Chad is quoted in the PD story, noting properly and graciously that Ohio’s students and educators clearly rose to the occasion in the face of the higher bar for graduation. Kudos. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/17/17) The headline from Middletown takes a “glass less than half empty” approach to the news, although the article is a bit clearer. (Middletown Journal-News, 10/17/17) Since the graduation pathway ship has sailed for the Class of 2018, it is more important to discuss the Class of 2019. Buried in both of these stories is the fact that 2K19 is also on a decent clip to reach the higher graduation bar with more than a year and a half of school remaining. So it seems the only logical conclusion is that the new non-academic pathways can be safely retired after a one-year stint and educators can double down on all their efforts to get kids to a diploma the old fashioned way. Right?