Student Graduation Rate at 82.9% for students graduating within six years
CHEYENNE – More than two-thirds of districts are above the state average four year graduation rate of 77.6% with 30 of the 48 districts above 80% according to data compiled and released by the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE).
"There’s always room for improvement. Any school that does not have all of their students graduating would agree," Superintendent Cindy Hill stated.
Also calculated by the WDE are rates of students that graduate within five and six years. The 2013 rate for students graduating from high school in five years or less is 81.3%, and the 2013 rate for students graduating from high school in six years or less is 82.9%.
"We all want 100% of our students to graduate and the keys to that are quality instruction and parents who value education," Hill continued. "We know that districts work hard to ensure every student graduates, and some students take more than four years. There’s more to the story than data points. There are a lot of reasons why students do not graduate in four years. There are a lot of unknowns, but I do know that a number of those who do not graduate in four years are not dropouts, they are five or six year graduates."
The data on four-year graduation rates is collected by the WDE using a formula and methodology developed by the United States Department of Education (USDE) as mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The methodology used does not account for why a student did not graduate in four years or less. "Unfortunately we have no means of collecting data that would clarify what happens to the students that do not graduate with their four year cohort, aside from those who graduate in five or six years," Vince Meyer, Senior Statistician at the WDE said.
"Some immediately join the workforce, many will graduate within five or six years, others will complete their high school equivalency on their own, and a few may even score high enough on their ACT to go directly to college without a high-school diploma. We simply don’t have the data to tell us specifically what happened to all of them." Meyer continued.
Groups of students who are scheduled to graduate in the same four-year period are called "cohorts." Federal requirements define the "four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate," as the number of students who graduate at the end of four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who entered high school four years earlier.
The districts are working hard to provide the most accurate and up to date data for the collection process. The WDE is now in the fourth year of using the methodology prescribed by the USDE that requires all states to use the same criteria, which allows for greater accuracy and discourages any tendency for inflated graduation rates.
"I’m very confident these data are accurate." Leslie Zimmerschied, Education Data Governance Coordinator for the WDE said. "The raw data are submitted to WDE by the districts and the rates are calculated by the WDE data team. The data is then returned to the districts for confidential review. They check our work and help us find any issues. It’s a collaborative process that leads to a better result. That collaboration makes me very confident that the rates are accurate."
For more information about the 2012-2013 graduation rate please contact Travis Hoff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-777-2053. For data related questions please contact Leslie Zimmerschied at email@example.com or 307-777-8751.