The graduation estimate by Education Week’s research center for Oakland Unified’s Class of 2005 — 50.5 percent — is actually slightly better than one that came out about three years ago, which used the same formula. (Remember the one by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard that labeled Oakland and Los Angeles “dropout factories?” That one. It put the rate at 48 percent.)
Who knows? Maybe in another three years, when the data for this year’s graduating class comes out, it will show that Oakland is above the state average (70 percent in 2005).
Now for my perennial disclaimer: No one knows exactly how many kids graduate high school on time — or ever — and how many drop out and never return to school. This is just a researcher’s best guess for the percentage who graduate in four years with a regular diploma.
Do you think this method — which only estimates how many students graduated high school in four years with a regular diploma — simply inflates the drop-out figure, or do you think the “on-time” rate is important to measure?
image from m_kane10’s site at flickr.com/creativecommons