High school science teacher Jeremy Noonan will never forget his training as an online credit recovery teacher in Douglas County, Ga. He was told to always give answer checks. When a student finished an online quiz or test, he was to pull up the results on his own screen, tell the student which questions were answered incorrectly and instruct them to try again.
That was only one of the dubious shortcuts Noonan witnessed while teaching credit recovery, an approach to raising graduation rates that is spreading everywhere. Many educators think corrupt credit recovery courses are a reason graduation rates have been going up. Noonan said the graduation rate in his district went up 13 percentage points in 2015, “despite no meaningful gains in student achievement.”