Dropout Rate Higher Than Reported

March 30, 2011  |  

(Wall Street Journal) — New York City’s high-school drop-out rate in 2008 was up to 3.5 percentage points higher than the 13% reported by the Department of Education, the New York state comptroller said Tuesday.  The result: That year’s graduation rate was probably between 62.9% and 63.6% rather than the reported 65.5%, according to the report.  “The city school system needs to sharpen its pencils when it comes to knowing which kids are dropping out and which kids are transferring to another school,” said the comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, in a statement. He added that because the discrepancy is less than 5%, the DOE’s reported rate is “generally accurate” and noted that his findings don’t negate the upward trend of the city’s graduation rate.  State regulations require that schools document whether a student who leaves the system is enrolling in another school. If a school can’t document that, the student must be marked as a dropout, which lowers the graduation rate.

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