Getting to Graduation
In addition to everything else on the educational plate, Rhode Island needs to increase its graduation rate, even as it requires a diploma actually to mean something:
Statewide, 76 percent of the Class of 2010 graduated within four years, up a percentage point from the previous year.
More than 2,900 of their classmates didn’t receive a diploma last year, although a small number of these students stayed for a fifth year in hopes of graduating.
If these fifth-year students graduate in June, they will be counted in the state’s five-year graduation rate next year.
The 2010 five-year graduation rate, which uses a formula to include both the Class of 2010 and students from the Class of 2009 who needed an extra year to graduate, was 79 percent.
The article notes some helpful activities at Davies Career and Technical High School in Lincoln, but it comes back to the same ol’ problem:
The program added 90-minutes to the school day and cost about $90,000 extra for teaching and transportation. But, the director said, the investment paid off.
Everything costs extra money, and it’s money that administrators and school committees have already spent on lucrative contract deals. Rhode Island has to change its paradigm to an assertion that school employees are paid to accomplish an objective, and they’d better do so within the resources already allocated.