Alabama’s overall graduation rate went up to 75% from 72% last year. While that is something to celebrate, it still means that 25%, or 1 in 4, students that enter high school do not graduate four years later.
It is important to understand how the graduation rate is calculated. It’s based on the “4-year cohort”, which simply means that students who started 9th grade graduated four years later. So whether a student repeats a grade or leaves school (the term the British use that equates to our use of “dropout”), that student does not count as a graduate.
Here is the spreadsheet of Alabama’s school districts’ 2011-2012 4-year cohort graduation rates. The arrow at the top of many of the columns means that you can reorder the rows based on that measure. Go ahead, click around. This is only districts, but it is broken down by those who graduated, along with those who may still be enrolled, dropped out, or are missing.
UPDATE: Go to the second tab in the spreadsheet (bottom left on your screen when you’re looking at the spreadsheet) and click on it to see the percentages of students in each subgroup and their graduation rates at each of Alabama’s high schools. Sorry I didn’t notice that earlier.
Here is the spreadsheet of Alabama’s 357 high schools’ 2011-2012 4-year cohort graduation rates. Again, the arrow allows you to reorder the data/rows. I modified the file produced by the ALSDE to show only those columns that are of interest.
While doing research for this post, I discovered that the ALSDE has revised the benchmarks for graduation rates in our ESEA Flexibility Waiver Request. Specifically, the graduation rates for children in special education has been heavily revised upward. The other grad rates have mostly remained unchanged. [The Annual Measurable Objectives that I was so concerned about have also been drastically revised upward. More on that soon.]
Here are the revised graduation rates:
Here are the original graduation rates attached to the ESEA Flexibility Waiver Request from September 2012:
Take the time to find the graduation rates for children in your school community. Look around at the other high schools in your district. What are their graduation rates? If yours is a one- or two-high school district, check out the high schools in neighboring districts. Do their rates differ drastically from yours? If so, find out why. Start that conversation. If you don’t, who will?
As always, if you need any assistance in asking those questions of your school officials, feel free to contact me at asc(at)alabamaschoolconnection.org. Or leave comments here or on the facebook page.