The purpose of educational reform and the federally mandated, “No Child Left Behind” law, is to ensure no child is left behind and loses out on the essential education he or she will need to become a productive citizen in today’s world.
When performance reports sound too good to be true, they usually aren’t. The newspaper recently reported the Tooele School District’s graduation rates (GR) being among the best in the state. The district reported a 90 percent average, 12 points above the state average and 11 points above the national average.
Tooele High School’s 95 percent graduation rate must be one of the top schools in the nation, reporting 16 points above the national average. However, the numbers don’t add up. About 425 students transition into THS from Tooele Junior High School each year. Yet only 320-345 names are reported as graduating each year from Tooele High School. At 95 percent, THS should only lose 21-22 students from each graduating class. Not 80-100 from each graduating class. Who are they and where did they go?
Parents, the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) and the U.S. Department of Education monitor the GR as an indicator of the “health and quality” of our schools. We trust the district to report all students in their reporting. I wish that our high schools were that good. Did they use the loop holes in the reporting system to erase poor performing students to improve their graduation rates? More importantly, if students were erased, were they left behind?”
Keith L. Davis