Twice as many students drop out of CHS than county schools, Rachana Dixit and Brandon Shulleeta write in today’s Daily Progress. The state Department of Education has just released the results of a four year longitudinal study, and some of the results are a bit different than conventional wisdom. 13.2% of kids who entered CHS in 2004 have left without a degree, compared to a state average of 8.7%, and a county rate of 6.5%. Turning the statewide standard on its head, females at CHS are slightly more likely to drop out than males (13.3% vs. 13%). In the county, black and white students drop out at the same rate, which is significantly different than the 12% and 6% dropout rates, respectively, statewide. In the city, 15.4% of black students drop out, which is slightly higher than the overall rate.
Spokeswoman Cass Cannon tells the Progress that the city schools are already working on the problem:
We certainly have moved to address our dropout rate and we’ve more than doubled our programs to support high school graduation. We have things in motion to address what we’ve known, but that won’t show up for years to come.
Mayor Dave Norris suggests that the problem may actually be worse than this, telling the paper that he’s heard of kids dropping out after middle school.
This method of tracking is totally new. Dropouts used to be tracked annually, rather than in four-year groupings. So if a kid finished his freshman year, and didn’t come back in his sophomore year, he wasn’t recorded as a dropout. This new methodology is designed to address that problem.