Measurements are often given meaning relative to thresholds. Someone is housed or unhoused, poor or not poor, by some definition. Yet these thresholds are arbitrary, and open to debate and manipulation. While one might think there would be agreement on what homeless means, especially since it is a word that almost defines itself, there is considerable argument over its definition with significant policy consequences.
As the social sector struggles to measure its impact and make the case that real progress is being made, the LA Unified School District (LAUSD) might have found the easiest and most fool proof way of increasing graduation rates; lower graduation standards. The LAUSD is facing a dropout crisis, and like many social sector organizations, whether government or non-profit, is feeling the pressure to improve outcomes based on a set of measurable indicators. For schools, a fairly important indicator is graduating students.