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September 18, 2014

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School District reports increase in graduation rate

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Paul Takahashi

Clark County School Superintendent Dwight Jones thanks the community for its help in increasing the School District’s high school graduation rate on Monday, June 4, 2012. The School District announced on Monday that its graduation rate improved to 65 percent, from 59 percent last year.

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Clark High School senior Jellow Flor Gato, 17, talks about the challenges she faced to reach graduation on Monday, June 4, 2012. The Clark County School District announced on Monday that its graduation rate improved to 65 percent, from 59 percent last year.

Efforts to increase the graduation rate in the Clark County School District seem to be paying off.

School District officials today said they anticipated nearly 15,000 high school seniors would be graduating this year. The number represents about 65 percent of the district’s seniors – an improvement of about 13 percent than the number of students who were on track to graduate at the beginning of the school year.

It's also a 6 percent increase over the district's graduation rate in 2011, school officials said.

To further boost the number, the district is conducting intensive summer school sessions to push an additional 2,000 students who are short one credit or have not passed at least one proficiency test to graduate in August.

"We are so proud of the seniors who have worked hard to earn a diploma, and we want the 2,000 others who are on the cusp of graduation to know that this community is not giving up on them," Superintendent Dwight Jones said in a news release this morning. "We will provide summer school and tutoring, and even offer a fifth year, to any senior who wants to earn a diploma.

“We are seeing more graduates today than last year's June graduation and summer school graduates combined,” Jones continued, "with many more poised to graduate in August, which is reason to celebrate our gains and refocus on the work that lies ahead."

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  1. Interested in digging into those numbers. Seems like there's a bit of a conflict of interest when it comes to reporting this information.

    I hope they're correct, and I hope the district continues to improve.

  2. @improveLV,
    The numbers are correct from my observations, but I don't think it is due to various CCSD policies and initiatives. From speaking to a lot of high schoolers, there is a recognition of the tough economic outlook. Jobs for anyone are hard to find.
    Talking to the same high school seniors five years ago, there was a blase attitude of 'I'll always be able to find a job in the service industry'. The valet job was the job. Now it seems there is a realization that those jobs aren't there.
    Still 66% graduation isn't enough. We should be aiming to get 95% of students to graduate-and not by reducing standards.

  3. tigermike, I completely agree with you that we shouldn't reduce standards in order to achieve higher graduation rates.

  4. An increase in higher graduation rates is a plus.

    CCSD should absolutely focus on offering additional courses to help students pass the proficiency exam. Additionally, the school should also offer summer terms for credit make up.

    Also, after school "labs" in subjects like Math, English, and Science should be offered. This will help ensure that students are getting the help they need to improve themselves and the overall experience of others students in the class environment.

    CCSD should also get UNLV students involved/participate in after school academic guidance/counseling for high school students.

    So many young high school students finish high school with the necessary information to pursue higher education. Some of these high schools have so many students - the school counselors don't give these students the time they need to get the information necessary to pursue higher education.

    UNLV students can fill the gap. Schools must be willing to work with a student/parents to ensure all necessary information is available so that the student will get the best guidance possible.

  5. without*

  6. Just more pole dancers and parking valets begging for tips. Thank God my children were raised back East. We know that many of the children were "promoted" to assure the teachers continued employment. Don't blame the teachers actually, you are dealt a hand with English challenged students and single parent households-Don't know how the teachers get out of bed in the morning knowing what they will face a few hours later...

  7. Check their math. But then again, doesn't take rocket science to figure out: when you say / report the lowest graduation rates possible, it doesn't take much to improve, even to improve markedly. Just cook the numbers a slightly different way--saving "real" improvement for next time. I predict "real" success for the next several years--to "justify" endlessly more "need" for our tax dollars.

  8. The numbers are definitely up but how CCSD got that increase is telling. Consider a student who is credit deficient, say in English. To graduate they need 2nd semester English 2, all English 3, etc. So senior year they take online/computer lab courses of short duration who grading requirements are significantly reduced from those in a regular class. Student does not get any content or instruction, merely fills in the blanks on a computer screen with as many attempts as they need. Bingo...course passed, credit awarded. Proficiency testing is tougher, I'll admit, but eminently do-able if a kid takes advantage of special proficiency tutoring classes which teach all the strategies necessary to pass the tests. One issue not asked or answered in the story: How many kids will walk but get only a "Certificate of Attendance" and are they counted as "graduates"?