Looks like Jay Greene was right. As reported in the Philly Inquirer, a new study on graduation rates in the Philly School system shows that:
Between 48 and 54 percent of the students who started ninth grade between 2000 and 2005 graduated in four years. The rates improved to between 61 and 63 percent after six years. The rest dropped out without earning diplomas.So only about 62% of students in the Philly School system graduate within six years. Appalling.
It even seems that they are starting to take education research seriously. What took you so long? Why did it take until 2006 for us to have any idea how many kids were graduating from high school?
Drawing on the most comprehensive student data assembled here - or in any other large urban district - the report outlines in stark detail the scope of the district's dropout problem.So what's the leading cause of these dropouts?
By tracking individual students over time and linking school records with data gathered by the University of Pennsylvania and from the courts and other city agencies, the research tells the district for the first time not only how many students are dropping out, but also who they are and how many others are on the verge.
Balfanz and Neild found that eighth graders who attend school less than 80 percent of the time and fail either English or math have a 75 percent probability of dropping out.Gee, that's a shocker. Kids who aren't doing well in school, drop out.
Buried on page 34 of the report, we see how far behind these drop outs actually are when they drop out.
For students dropping out in ninth grade, 57.9% were reading at a fifth grade level or less and 20.4% were reading on a 6th-8th grade level based on the SAT-9 test. For tenth grade drop outs the stats are slightly less grim since the herd's already been culled: 49.5% were reading at a fifth grade level or less and 22.7% were reading on a 6th-8th grade level.
To put this in perspective, after nine to ten years in school between about 50%-58% of the drop outs were reading an an elementary school level. Another 20%-23% were reading on a middle school level. I'm thinking its difficult to do high school level work when you can barely read.
Females are doing better than males. And, hispanics males are doing the worst.
Female students graduate on time at higher rates, and the gender gap was nearly 15 percentage points between 2000 and 2003.
Latino males have the lowest on-time graduation rate of any group in the city: 29.3 percent to 38.2 percent.
I'm dying to see how this study is going to get spun.