The District of Columbia's public schools, it will shock no one to learn, fare poorly by this measure. A depressing three of the 12 high schools the study measured in the District fall into the lowest possible category--schools in which the number of seniors is 60 percent or fewer than the number of freshmen four years earlier. This, according to a Johns Hopkins University study on which the report card is based, is a powerful indicator that these schools will have painfully bad graduation rates. (By comparison, nationwide, about 70 percent of students graduate from high school; for black and Hispanic students, that drops to about 50 percent.)
Be slightly wary of the D.C. numbers because so many kids in inner-city schools move around so often that enrollment figures aren't to be trusted. But the bottom line is nonetheless clear: The schools in question (in Washington, that's Ballou, Woodson and Bell Multicultural high schools) are simply not retaining enough students to even have a shot at graduating an acceptable portion of their kids. And several other D.C. schools are just barely above that very low minimum number.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
DCPS dropout "factories"
Post Metro reporter Marc Fisher has a depressing piece up about a new study that studies high school dropout rates. Interestingly, 15% of the schools nationwide account for nearly 50% of the students who fail earn a high school diploma. These schools have been dubbed "dropout factories" and the District has a depressingly high number of them.