Sunday, March 7, 2010

High School Graduation Rates

The other day in the newspaper they had an article about high school graduation rates, listing the graduation rates of some of the worst cities in the nation. As I recall, some cities were below a forty percent graduation rate and many bigger cities were around that figure. I just couldn't believe it. It seemed so astonishing to me. It doesn't comport with my experience when I graduated and so for days now I've been intending to look up the graduation rates here where I live in Utah and where I was a youth I graduated.

I was pleased to see that overall Utah graduation rates are high. In the school district where I graduated more than forty years ago, ninety-two percent of the enrolled students graduated. The lowest graduation rates were in Ogden, where the rate was only sixty-three percent, which is quite low, it seems to me. Also, in Salt Lake, the graduation rate was sixty-nine percent. So, I guess my astonishment at the low graduation rates reflects some of my naïveté when it comes to understanding what is happening in other places.

In Utah there is a disparity between the number of whites who graduate and the number of people of color who graduate. Like he does have a tougher time. The most recent rates indicate that they graduate about seventy percent of the enrolled individuals within their ranks. Individuals with limited English proficiency graduated at about the rate of sixty percent. Blacks graduated at seventy-seven percent. People with disabilities graduated at eighty percent. Whites graduated at ninety-one percent.

Utah does a lot with the resources it devotes to education. On the other hand, Utahans do a lot despite the fact that they are limited in the resources devoted to education. I am firmly for upgrading the pay of teachers and the amounts of money and resources devoted to education, both in the public schools and in the public institutions of higher learning.

1 comment:

Soon To Expire said...

And the graduation / college-bound rates for the Asian in our society is higher still. This appears to be a cultural phenomena.

There are pluses and minuses to each of our cultures. Do we have the courage to allow others their priorities? Do we berate certain types for their `mis-appreciation` of education? Do we demand that one people prop up another?

The only way is through tolerance and love. Not through force and taxation.