Wichita is one of 19 cities that suffered a huge drop in its graduation rate over the past decade, according to a study from America's Promise Alliance. Wichita School administrators said the report is false.
The study put Wichita's graduation rate at 54.5%. The Wichita School District released this statement in response to the study;
The graduation formula used by KSDE and the U.S. Department of Education holds us accountable under No Child Left Behind. For 2007, the Wichita Public Schools' graduation rate was 74.8%. The graduation rate for 2008 is 79.4%. Graduation rates are posted to KSDE's website. The 2008 graduation rates haven't been posted.
A graduation rate of 79.4% is a huge improvement over the 54.5% that America's Promise Alliance stated. As you may recall, they released a similar study in 2008. They use their own formula to come up with graduation rates to support their cause. The graduation rate figured by the report did not take into account the number of students who leave a school because they have moved, which KSDE does. In urban districts, there is a high rate of student mobility.
Wichita has implemented several high school reform initiatives which have contributed to the graduation rate increasing over the past 10 years. The key is keeping students connected to school so they will want to attend.
"Our reforms are working," said Denise Wren, Assistant Superintendent of High Schools. "We have high expectations for our students and we will keep working to continue to increase student achievement and our graduation rates."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.