The Plight Of Boston's Valedictorians22:30

Brighton High School. (Wikimedia Commons)
Brighton High School. (Wikimedia Commons)
This article is more than 2 years old.

For most students, graduating at the top of their class puts them on a path to success.

But for many Boston public high schools valedictorians, that does not appear to be the case.

The Boston Globe surveyed most of Boston's valedictorians who graduated between 2005 and 2007 — and found that a quarter of them failed to graduate college within six years.

Forty percent earn less than $50,000 a year, and four have been homeless.

Two of the reporters who worked on the investigation — and one of the valedictorians — joined us to discuss what should be done to help top-performing high school students succeed.


Shanika Bridges-King, valedictorian of Boston English High School's class of 2006.

Meghan Irons, Boston Globe reporter. She tweets @MeghanIrons.

Malcolm Gay, Boston Globe reporter. He tweets @malcolmgay.

Samuel Acevedo, executive director of the Boston Higher Education Resource Center.

This article was originally published on January 29, 2019.

This segment aired on January 29, 2019.


Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.


Walter Wuthmann Twitter Associate Producer
Walter Wuthmann is an associate producer in WBUR's newsroom.