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Parkdale experiences biggest drop in graduation rate in over a decade

For the past years, Parkdale has kept their graduation rate at a steady 79 percent. However, this year it has to be believed that the rate shot down, due to an appalling amount of seniors who won’t be walking across the stage.

Many students of the class 2019 walked into a senior student assembly in early May held in the multi-purpose Room with high heads, yet the same energy wasn’t reciprocated once the meeting was over.

At this meeting, 44 seniors had to face the fact that they would not be walking across the stage with their 2019 peers. This is the highest recorded number of seniors not graduating in over a decade.

Not all of the non-graduating seniors have the same reason behind their failure.

Parkdale High School junior Adekansola Adewami seems to think that the reason behind the amount of seniors not graduating is because “a lot of students didn’t have the motivation they needed in school, and some teachers just didn’t help supply them with the guidance they needed.”

Whether or not this is true, all we can be sure of is that somewhere down the line something went wrong, and all we can do now is prepare well enough to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Adewami believes that so far, the resources given to her are helping to make sure she walks across the stage in the 2020 graduation.

“Some of my teachers were really good and I learned in some of my classes so I feel like it gave me the knowledge I’ll need in the future,” said Adewami.

Preparing students for the harsh reality of college and the real world is in the description of the educational system, yet the system hasn’t fully represented this in the last few years, and this may be a factor toward the high percent of seniors not graduating.

The low graduation standards set for the newer classes may be placing a feeling of ease onto their mentality. They may think that all they have to do is the bare minimum to pass.

However, classes like financial literacy have shown students that the outside world isn’t as understanding as high school.

“Financial Literacy has definitely shown me that responsibility is a must in the real world, and it’s made me question why the class isn’t required [for all students to graduate]” said Adewami.

Many students believe that classes like financial literacy makes school feel like it has a purpose. It is also believed that if classes such as financial literacy were made a requirement like gym, then more students would retain information to show them that life away from high school isn’t so easy.

“Parkdale could have done more, like make financial literacy [a class that teaches you how to do taxes and budget money responsibly] a requirement or at least do something to tell students about it,” said Parkdale high school senior Justice John, who is graduating in June.

While John takes up this point of view with the learning system, he doesn’t feel as if he had lack of support from the adults surrounding him at school.

“The teachers and administrators were very helpful,” he explained. “They were making sure seniors stayed on top of their grades and reminded us about stuff we needed to turn in.”

Despite the efforts of the school, making sure all seniors graduate on time is a give and take situations, and this situation can’t be set in place if the seniors aren’t willing to cooperate.

If students refuse to go to class because they think “don’t need it to graduate”, then PG County will continue to see graduation rates drop, as more and more seniors allow what should be their “easiest year” to quickly spiral out of control.

“For next year’s seniors just try your best,” John advised. “Senior year is probably the easiest but it can quickly go bad so make sure to stay on top of everything.”