Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Graduation Rates

I just have one question about the otherwise excellent bit of reporting Betsy Hammond did for The Oregonian on PPS graduation rates.

If the point of the story is that PPS's self-reported graduation rate is artificially high because they ship out the high drop-out risk kids to alternative schools not included in their graduation rate calculus, why do you compare your calculated rate that includes those kids with other school districts self-reported rates?  Did you correct these rates for the other districts too or make sure the same problem does not exist there?  If not then this is not a good comparison.

The text of the article suggests that the similar problem does not exist to the same extent in other districts but unless this is the same carefully done analysis, I don't think this graphic is legit. Which is not to say that this diminishes the reporting's impact and findings which are important and damning.  Just that I found this graph a bit odd.

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