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Shelby County Public Schools graduation rate, basically the same from 2010, remains about 4 percent better than the state’s average.
Kentucky’s Department of Education released the state’s Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) on Aug. 8, and the state’s public schools in 2010-11 graduated 78 percent of those students, up from 76.7 in 2009-10.
Shelby County saw its rate stay nearly identical but dip slightly from 82.6 in 2009-10 to 82.4 in 2010-11. Although that is still a big improvement from 2008-09’s 74.4 percent, the rate remains below the baseline of 2008-09’s 83.9 percent.
“Our number is basically the same as the prior year 82.4, but we certainly want to improve on that,” Superintendent James Neihof said. “We’re not pleased with that. It’s above the state average, but we want to see additional growth.”
The AFGR is calculated by a formula that takes into account the number of 2010-11 graduates with a diploma earned in 4 years, the graduates with diplomas in 4 or more years, the 2007-08 freshman enrollment and the 2008-09 sophomore enrollment.
Students with disabilities whose Individual Education Plans enable them to take more than 4 years to obtain diplomas are included in this calculation
This formula will be used until next year, when the state will begin to adopt the U.S. Department of Education’s preferred graduation rate formula, the Cohort formula.
Four schools — Augusta Independent, Beechwood High, Burgin High and Fairview High — scored 100 percent AFGR for the 2010-11 school year.
SCPS well exceeded the state’s averages in male, female and all ethnic categories except the Hispanic subsection. But the state release notes that because of new ethnicity data collection requirements, the Hispanic group trends should be interpreted with caution.
Until the 2011 report, the district had been making positive gains and had grown increasingly close to the state’s Hispanic AFGR in 2010, coming just 1.7 percent short of the state’s 74.7 percent.
The district’s 2011 rates by category compared to the state’s are:
Overall — 82.4 compared to 78
Male — 81.4 compared to 74.4
Female — 83.5 compared to 81.8
Caucasian — 85.8 compared to 79.1
African American — 86 compared to 71.3
Hispanic — 68.3 compared to 83.6
Shelby County did not have enough Asian students to qualify for an AFGR, but Asian students had the highest rate in the state at 98.1.
Neihof said the district’s future plans will boost the graduation rates.
“We want to stay focused on our BIG goals and our clear direction,” he said. “We believe the clear direction we’re headed in addresses the improvement of grad rate. Of course when we reach the goals we have of graduating all of our kids ready for college or career, then we’ll have a one hundred percent graduation rate.
“That’s the direction we’re headed, but we have some ground to gain to get there.”