Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert C. Bobb announced Tuesday that the district has reached a 62 percent graduation rate, the highest since the state began its new cohort methodology in 2007.The dropout rates for black males and females also fell over the past two years, to 23 percent for black males in 2010, down from nearly 33 percent in 2008; and to 14 percent for black females in 2010, down from 20 percent in 2008.Graduation rates for the past four years:
“Thanks in part to aggressive academic improvements and school leadership restructuring, we are pleased that DPS has reached the highest graduation rate since the state launched a new cohort formula in 2007,” Bobb said. “We still have much work to do to reach our goal of 98 percent of students graduating by 2015, but this is a true testament that our reforms are working and that we are delivering on our promise to ensure more students stay in school. Now, we must redouble our efforts to track every student’s progress and deliver the excellent teaching and support needed to ensure every student graduates and is prepared for higher education.” Full Interview: Detroit Schools Financial Manager Robert Bobb According to the district in a press release, before June 2007, rates were calculated with what is referred to as a “Retention Rate Calculation.” The cohort method was used to calculate the June 2007 rates and has been used since. In order to comply with The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and, as defined in The Michigan Department of Education Consolidated State Application Accountability Workbook, the state of Michigan must move to an accountability system for high schools in which a graduation rate includes only “on-time” graduates who earn diplomas in four years. This calculation aligns with the guidelines provided by the National Governors Association Graduation Counts Compact and the United States Department of Education.The “four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate” is calculated by tracking individual students from the time they were enrolled as first-time ninth-graders, with a four-year expected completion rate. The formula accounts for students who leave school and return later, for students who are retained in a grade and stay in school, and for students who transferred into and out of the public school system. The district said that method is a more accurate measure of the graduation rate. Students included in building rates must have been reported to the state for two or more count days. Students included in district rates must have been reported to the state for one or more count days.