Disqus

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

National Graduation Rates

This article about national graduation rates appeared in today's PI. Seattle ranked 7th highest in the country for bigger cities. From the article:

"In the Seattle district, 67.6 percent of high school students graduated on time, below the national average of 70 percent but above most others in the 14-page "Cities in Crisis" report released by the nonprofit America's Promise Alliance.

Another Western school district in Mesa, Ariz., topped the list with a 77.1 percent graduation rate.

Detroit had the lowest graduation rate, 24.9 percent, among the 50 surveyed cities, while districts in Indianapolis, Cleveland and Baltimore, all had rates below 35 percent. The report analyzed public school data from the 2003-2004 school year. "

Overall, this country is losing about 1 million students a year to dropping out. Colin Powell calls that "catastrophic". I'd agree. Here's one good reason why this kind of report never makes a lot of sense:

"Researchers used school enrollment and diploma data, but did not use data on dropouts as part of its calculation."

What? Did not use data on dropouts? Well, that may be because each state, like Washington for example, loves to putz around with its numbers so that it likely varies so much from state to state that it's useless. But maybe the question isn't how many drop out (it's already a huge number) but why they do.

"The (non-profit Ameria's) Promise Alliance now plans to hold meetings across the country to address low graduation rates. Seattle and Tacoma have already indicated interest in hosting gatherings."

5 comments:

dan dempsey said...

We will soon have a much lower graduation rate if the current state direction is completed.

Look for a years worth of Algebra II credit to be required for high school graduation.

Just when you think we might have something right the Edu-Crats hurry to make the next huge mistake.

Why won't these folks leave the public alone? How do we wind up with leadership this bad?

You can get the full scoop by reading the Overview on my blog
at:

The Math Underground
.
.

Charlie Mas said...

I find it very hard to believe that Seattle Public Schools is dedicated to raising graduation rates when:

* They have yet to make any systematic effort whatsoever at providing intervention for students working below grade level K-8

* They have yet to make enough effort at providing intervention for students working below grade level in grades 9-12

* They are slinking away from the Southeast Initiative. The addtion of new programs might help keep some kids in school. The addition of motivated students might create a culture in which graduation is expected.

* They are considering additions to the graduation requirements

* They allocate funding to teacher coaches instead of reduced class sizes. The teachers are trained already; let's work on the kids now.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Today's KUOW Conversation was about high school dropouts. I didn't hear the entire program (you can always listen to old shows online; kuow.org) but they had called the district to ask for a comment. The reply was no one wanted to comment because they are all on spring break.

Are they kidding?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Today's KUOW Conversation was about high school dropouts. I didn't hear the entire program (you can always listen to old shows online; kuow.org) but they had called the district to ask for a comment. The reply was no one wanted to comment because they are all on spring break.

Are they kidding?

dan dempsey said...

All on Spring Break ...ummm

I spoke to Rosalind Wise and Linda Hoste at the JSCEE on Monday afternoon. it appeared they might be available all week.

The reply was no one wanted to comment because they are all on spring break.

Could it be the district is just not OPEN and Transparent this week?

So how is that different than any other week?