OHIO VALLEY — The U.S. Department of Education recently released data from the 2010-11 school year comparing schools’ number of high school graduates and the percentage of those graduates who earned their diploma in four years.
According to the department’s news release, the 2010-11 school year was the first school year in which all states used a common measurement for reporting the number of graduates. By collecting this data, the Department of Education’s goal is to provide information to parents and students about their schools and to ensure all schools are preparing students to pursue further secondary education or to directly enter the workforce.
According to the database, beginning with Mason County, Point Pleasant High School had 184 graduates, with 70-74 percent of students earning a diploma in four years. Wahama High School had a total of 76 graduates with 70-74 percent earning diplomas in four years, and Hannan High School had total of 41 graduates with 70-79 percent completing the work in four years.
In Gallia County, Gallia Academy High School had a total to 187 graduates with 85-89 percent graduating within the four-year period. River Valley High School had a total of 145 graduates with a percentage of 85-89, and South Gallia High School with 61 graduates and a percentage of 90-94 completing the curriculum in four years.
In Meigs County, Meigs High School had the largest total of graduates — 167 with a percentage of 80-84 earning their diplomas in four years. Southern High School had a total of 41 graduates and a percentage of 80-89. Eastern High School had a total of 57 graduates with their percentage listed as ‘GE90’. Attempts were made to contact the U.S. Department of Education to explain the meaning behind GE90, which were unsuccessful as of press time on Monday.
It was reported the data does take into account students who were in the graduating class since the beginning of ninth grade, as well as students who transfer into the class or students who transfer out, emigrate to another country or die. The data also accounts for students who drop out and student who do not earn a regular high school diploma.
“Having good information is critical to making good decisions, and these high school graduation rates are a vital tool to help parents and school leaders make useful comparisons of student growth and success,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These data will also help state, district and school leaders better gauge progress and support their work to help more students graduate on time, ready for college and careers.”
Comparisons of graduation rates between states in previous years were unreliable due to different states using different methods. With all states using the same method, the U.S. Department of Education is able to provide a more accurate look at graduation rates among high schools nationwide and help inform school districts’ efforts to improve education and reduce dropout rates.
Graduation rates for the 2011-12 school year will also be calculated using the same method.