Local graduation rate outpacing state

Published 3:18 pm Friday, June 1, 2012

Fewer Alabama high school seniors are graduating than originally though according to data released by the state department of education last week.

State officials estimate that approximately 72 percent of students enrolled in high school actually finish.

Those figures lie in stark contrast to the reality in Demopolis.

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According to Demopolis Superintendent of Education Dr. Al Griffin, the state’s figures include the number of 2011 graduates who began the ninth grade in August 2007, and accounts for transfers in, transfers out, dropouts and those yet to complete graduation requirements.

While the state rate barely got past the “C-” mark, the city’s rate fell just short of an “A.”

“The state cohort average was 72 percent while DHS was 89 percent,” he said. “The actual percent of 2011 seniors who began the 2010-2011 school year and graduated with a diploma is around 98 percent (approximately 154 of 157).”

The new formula used to calculate graduation rates is thought to be more accurate and the state has set a goal of 90 percent.

“The cohort percent for the class of 2011 was actually higher than the (88 percent) of graduates in 2010 based on the percent who began the 2009-2010 school year verses number who received a diploma at the completion of the 2009-2010 school year, Griffin said.

Griffin noted several students who were scheduled to take the Alabama State High School Graduation Exam this summer that he hoped would push the school beyond the state’s benchmark goal.