In the past, a high school diploma was a certificate of achievement, a type of commodity like a monetary unit. It had a certain value to the holder and guaranteed that the possessor had mastered certain reading, writing and math skills. At one time, it even meant the holder had citizenship and geography skills. But with the focus on data driven education, graduation rates are now a mark of an institution — be it a school, a district or a state — and not of an individual. This shift means educators have more at stake in student achievement than do the students, and principals now expect all seniors to graduate. The market value of a diploma is now equal to the least proficient student, and administrators really do not have a commitment to student success, only to making the institution look good.