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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

The Graduation Rate -- Worth Paying Attention

By Bobbie McCreary


August 09, 2016
Tuesday AM

Thank you Agnes, for researching the information needed to present your challenges to our Ketchikan school district to increase our graduation rate. As you and many others are aware, this is a critically important issue for us to monitor and work for improvement in the district's results in order to positively influence the opportunities for our youth to succeed as they face the obligations of adulthood. The Empowering Youth task force of the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition spent considerable time after its formation surveying our students and determining how to develop meaningful information that addressed the graduation rate for a cohort of ninth graders that were targeted to graduate four years later. We researched what definitions were used in other locales and on the federal level and after determining the 9th grade cohort was the most meaningful analysis, worked with the school district to determine how to report that information, making necessary corrections such as adjusting for students leaving or joining the district during that four year period.

As I have failed to follow the reporting of this information in the last few years I am dismayed to learn that our results are not as good as I expected to hear. I trust there can be a renewed effort by the school board to emphasize the need for achievement of a high school graduation or GED certificate. As well as teaching the basics. I am continually surprised to observe that many intelligent young people do not know the most basics of common knowledge. Consider these examples: 1) the number associated with a month, ie, May is the fifth month in the year, 2) 180 days is 6 months not 5 months--as came up in a recent discussion in my bank about a potentially stale-dated check, 3) how to count back change, 4) how to check their work for accuracy, or 5) what a signature is (hint is it NOT printing your name.) Time to own up.

Bobbie McCreary
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received August 07, 2016 - Published August 09, 2016

About: "Administrator, Volunteer Ketchikan Youth Initiatives; Advocate for increasing our graduation rate"

Related Viewpoints:

letter A Measurable Academic Goal for the District By Agnes Moran


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