The graduation rates of more than half of local school districts fell, as did the state’s overall graduation rate, according to information released Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Education.
A change in state law about how graduation rates are calculated might have something to do with the drop in the percentage of students graduating from high school. Previously, if students left school for a General Education Development certificate program, they were treated as a transfer and removed from the formula used to calculate graduation rates. Now, state education officials say, students who leave for a GED program remain in the equation as part of the total number of students, but are not counted as a graduate. Another change from the 2005 legislation requires “adequate documentation” for all students who transfer from the district to attend a school outside the state, a private school or a home-based program. If the district does not have documentation, the student must be reported as a dropout. The graduation rates released Wednesday are for 2005-06. Even with the changes in the law, five school districts saw graduation rates increase and one — Academy School District 20 — remained the same. Those with increases include: Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, Lewis-Palmer School District 38, Miami-Yoder School District 60 JT, Edison School District 54 JT and Woodland Park School District RE-2. Statewide, the graduation rate dropped from 80.1 percent to 74.1 percent. Colorado Department of Education officials also released 2005-06 annual dropout rates. Statewide, the rate increased slightly from 4.2 percent to 4.5 percent. CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0394 or firstname.lastname@example.org