I have often wondered about an interesting dichotomy that exists in public education:
If student failures = "bad publicity" = less money to the school district, then what incentive exists for raising standards if more kids fail? Why not just artificially inflate student grades and claim academic excellence?
It seems that is becoming an issue in Chicago - check out this shocking article!
Here's an interesting bit from the article:
"It's in the culture of the schools,'' wrote one experienced high school teacher who raised numerous grades under pressure -- and said at least one was changed without his approval. "You can't completely be honest in grading students, otherwise the failure rate would be off the chart.''