The state notified the district May 10 that it had accepted appeals for 368 students who lacked recorded educational outcomes, and therefore had been counted as dropouts in earlier reports.
After the 2011 graduation rate was finalized in January at 59 percent, PPS high school leaders dug deeper and identified 2011 graduates who had not been counted, including foreign exchange students, summer graduates and others who finished school mid-year. Leaders also identified uncounted graduates for the class of 2010, whose graduation rate had been reported earlier as 54 percent.
As a result, PPS submitted an appeal of the 2010 and the 2011 graduation rates to the ODE.
The new numbers give schools more complete and accurate data to measure their progress between graduating classes.
Of the 368 students whose status was appealed, 144 had obtained a diploma but had not been counted as graduates. Another 191 had transferred out of the school district, state or country; transfers out of district modify the graduation rate by being removed from the denominator used to calculate the overall rate.
The remaining students obtained modified or adult high school diplomas, which do not affect the graduation rate. However, PPS appealed these outcomes to improve data accuracy.
“Staff in our high schools are working hard to keep better track of students, before and after they graduate," says Trip Goodall, PPS’ high school director. "This work has better captured actual outcomes of our students and real gains in our schools. We can’t accept a 62 percent on-time graduation rate, but we are encouraged by evidence that the achievement gap is narrowing and that our schools are producing better results.”
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