Thursday, May 25, 2006

African-American and Hispanic students dropped out of school at a higher rate than their white peers in Kentucky

Raviya H. Ismail:

This year, the state's African-American dropout rate jumped from 4.56 to 5.92 and the Hispanic dropout rate increased from 4.77 to 5.24.

Overall, high school dropout rates in the 2004-2005 school year rose slightly from 3.35 to 3.49 percent, and the graduation rate increased from 81.3 to 82.8, the annual report shows.

"There's not one thing we can point to that would explain why the dropout rate went up," said Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education. "There could be a lot of factors. It is one of the things that we're looking at carefully."

The report also shows retention and attendance rates and information about what students did after graduation, including whether they attended college or joined the military.

The non-academic data contributes to overall school scores in the statewide testing system, along with the Kentucky Core Content Test and the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills.

The statewide dropout rate is calculated by dividing the number of students who withdraw or fail to return to school after Oct. 1 into the total number of students who enrolled at the start of the year.

The graduation rate is calculated by dividing the number of students who complete high school within four years with a standard diploma by the number of all students who completed or dropped out of high school in the current year as well as dropouts in the three previous years.

Kentucky searches for answers as dropout rate rises again

High school dropout rate rises slightly in Kentucky

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