The Pineville Board of Education met Monday in regular session. Items discussed at the meeting included the enrollment model and graduation ratings, which the Kentucky Board of Education is currently mandating.
Pineville City Schools have always had a high percentile of graduating students, according to Superintendent Michael D. White. “We are usually in the 90 percentile.”
According to Paula K. Goodin, Director of Pupil Personnel, “In 2010 Pineville City Schools had an impressive graduation rate of 94.6 percent.”
“In the class of 2011 that percentage dropped to 77.3 percent because the board of education changed the model in which they calculate graduation rates,” says Goodin.
Goodin said, for two years, beginning with with student’s sophomore year, the state is tracking the percentage of graduating students by numbers, instead of following the progress of each student if they decide to transfer out of the school district and graduate somewhere else.
Calculating the number of students who graduate, instead of the percentage of students that start off in school at PHS then later decide to transfer to another school system and graduate will continue to decrease the graduation percentile, says Goodin.
“With enrollment numbers so small at Pineville, if enrollment drops even by a couple of students this is what will happen,” Goodin said.
Goodin used an example of the class of 2011.
“The cohort of students enrolled at PHS for the class of 2011 was averaged at 59.5 students when they were in their sophomore year. The actual graduating class of 2011 ended up dropping to 46 by the time that class graduated high school” she said.
“This drop in attendance left PHS with a 77.3 percent graduation rate in 2011,”said Goodin. According to the board members in Pineville, this is not an accurate way to calculate school graduation rates.
“The state doesn’t follow each student to see if the 13.5 students that left PHS from the class of 2011 ended up graduating high school somewhere else. In fact, only two of the students who left PHS actually ended up dropping out of high school. The true graduation rate in 2011 should have been 97 percent,” says Goodin.
Unfortunately, Pineville City Schools will have to get used to these lower than normal graduation percentages for the classes of 2011 and 2012. In 2013, Goodin states, the department of education is changing the model back to a transition period of following each child where ever they decide to graduate to determine the percentile of high school dropouts in Kentucky.
Chase Smith is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.