City Reduces School Dropout Rate

The Progress reports some good news from the city school system: there’s been a 40% reduction in dropouts at CHS over last year. Eleven percent of kids due to graduate in 2009 failed to do so; of kids due to graduate this past spring, only 6.8% didn’t. For comparison, the statewide rate is 8.2%. City schools attribute the improvement to programs that they have put into place to reduce dropout rates.

11 Responses to “City Reduces School Dropout Rate”


  • 80.3% of city students graduate on time.

    6.8% of city students dropped out.

    What happened to the other 12.9% of the students? Are they repeating a grade? If they drop out this year, will that be added to last year’s drop-out rate?

    Lies, damn lies, and statistics. At the very least one in five city students does not graduate high school “on time” — or perhaps at all. I don’t think this is good news.

  • Barbara, Barbara… relax. Breath in the lovely fall air. You are going to be ok. The kids will be ok. We all will be ok. Well, 98.4% of us anyway…

  • Belmont Yo — I love you and your dilapidated porch, too! That said…

    The way “drop-out rates” are allowed to be calculated by the commonwealth and/or the US government makes this a case of CCS with the loopholes in the library. It may solve the game of Clue, but it leaves us clueless when all is said and done.

    Rather than focus on the bizarrely calculated drop-out rate, I want to shift the focus to the 20% of students who don’t get there on time — or perhaps at all. That’s the story. We’re not serving them well and we’re not going to begin the conversation of why we’re failing them if we’re busy patting ourselves on the back for a 40% reduction in the drop-out rate.

    Yes, the autumn air is lovely — I have windows thrown open to it. I enjoy a deep inhalation of fresh air before breathing fire on a blog. Well, perhaps 87% of the time…

  • As a person that is over at the high school just about everyday, I think that they are doing a good job. I am very impressed with the teachers that stay after school help kids get caught up. I have no problem with a kid repeating a grade if it helps them to get caught up (private schools do this all of the time). Also calculated in this rate are the kids that are in juvenile detention or caught up in the legal system in some matter. Surely Barbara, you are not going to blame the school system for that are you?

    The city schools provide endless opportunities for the kids that are making the right decisions. It is certainly not the fault of the schools if the child or his family do not take advantage of these opportunities.

  • “students who don’t get there on time”

    I would argue that everything is “on time”. School isn’t a race. 5 years for college (me) = no big deal, yet 5 years for highschool = calamity? Or is it that parents are just eager to get the fruit of their loins out of the house? A four year college aint the kind of investment that anyone should be rushing into these days anyway. But I guess thats just my opinion.

    “I want to shift the focus”

    And I want christian fundamentalists to shift the focus of their rituals back to their hawt and steamy pagan origins, but that ain’t gonna happen. Bureaucracies have been fixing numbers to say whatever is convenient since the advent of the dewey decimal system, god bless their pointed little heads. Its nothing to fret about.

    Finally had to put up warning cones on the old porch for fear I’d maim the mailman. If only I had gone to college because then Id be sufficiently set to fix it out of pocket. Oh wait, I did. And oh wait, Im not. Did get a new roof though… thanks microburst!

  • Webster 52 — I’m saying I want to know where those students are. Of the 20% who don’t make it on time, we are told by these statistics that one third have dropped out. Where are the other two thirds?

    Envision a classroom of 30 freshmen. Graduation year, 24 of them get diplomas, 2 have dropped out, 4 have disappeared. The statistical definitions of “dropping out” as they’re required to be practiced leave twice as many non-on-time-graduating students unaccounted for as they account for. That’s a sloppy and incomplete picture that doesn’t begin to give us the information we need to discuss what is going wrong and where. The schools follow the requirements they’re given in this kind of reporting; in other words: of course CCS took advantage of the loopholes. The requirements are poorly constructed to say the least.

    I’ve spent a fair portion of my PTO time over the past nine years coming to a mild understanding of NCLB, Title One Funding, the ramifications of cohort size, small n schools, and other educational arcana. Usually the real story of what’s happening is somewhere between the statistics. Here we have a glaring omission of information and I suspect that there would somewhere be a governmental penalty for actually filling in the blank spaces.

    In the absence of information, we cannot speak coherently about what’s going on. I think we should offer more choices, because college-prep-for-all is clearly not the path of 1 in 5 students at CHS. If we don’t know where the students have gone, we can’t figure out what different thing we can do to truly serve them.

    Blaming CCS? Mildly. Blaming the Feds & the Commonwealth for the contortions they compel this and every other public school system to go through? Lots, lots more.

  • If you look at this link:

    http://www.doe.virginia.gov/statistics_reports/graduation_completion/cohort_reports/index.shtml

    you can find the cohort report for this year. Of the 325 students who were 9th graders in 2006, 150 graduated on time with advanced diplomas and 100 received standard diplomas.

    This left 75 not yet accounted. Of that 75, 20 received a “certificate of completion”, 22 dropped out, and 10 are still enrolled.

    My calculations show that 23 are “missing.” Those 23 are likely incarcerated or have moved out of the area without enrolling in another school system.

    the 6.8% drop out rate is actually not related to the graduation rate. the drop out rate is the number of students who dropped out (22) divided by the number of students in (I think) grades 7-12.

    clear as mud, huh?

  • Everyone but belmont, yo , Barbara Myer brings up a question that has puzzled me for years and makes some great points about the ramifications of these obscure numbers. I would like to clarify some points that were clarified by a former CCS employee, Harley Miles, several years ago. If a child is enrolled in classes in a state detention center or in a private institution with a state-approved curriculum, he is not considered a dropout. Thus, most kids in our court system are not included in the dropout numbers.
    Also, I’ve been told that the State gives colleges less money for each student that didn’t graduate “on time.”
    @belmont, yo, your frequently stupid-sounding comments are never funny.

  • I wonder how my son, who should have graduated from CHS in 2010 is classified. We removed him from CHS his sophmore year, (declared him “homeschooled”) sent him to Piedmont for two years, now he’s enrolled at a four year college with 59 credits under his belt but he never officially graduated from high school. It seems my son is not the only one in C’ville who left the public school system for PVCC before graduating. Are these kids among those who disappear from the statistics?

  • @Patience , good point.

  • Patience’s question remains good. If the commonwealth considers home schools to be another Virginia school, then he’s included in the graduation rates since this is the first year they’ve tracked by individual. If the commonwealth considers home schools to be a private school, then he’s part of the amazing disappearing students. Per the DP article.

    Also per the DP article, if a student transfers out of state, they become part of the disappearing students. I have no idea where a student transferring in from out of state would be placed. If CHS graduates a student who transferred from another Virginia school, then the originating school gets credit in their graduation rate.

    It’s all, indeed, very clear as mud.

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