The Kentucky Kids Count 2010 County Data Book was released recently, and I’m still looking over the data tables as there may be some good information here.
However, one set of data in the book is definitely wrong.
On page 2, the new report says,
“From the 2002-03 school year to the 2008-09 school year, the Kentucky high school graduation rate increased 5 percentage points from 79 percent to 84 percent, yet this is a drop from 85 percent in SY 2008.”
That’s not right. It grossly overstates the real graduation rate in Kentucky, something I have reported on for the Bluegrass Institute since its founding days back in 2003, and which was confirmed by federal research four years ago, which I also reported about extensively, for example here.
Why does the Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA), who publish the County Data Book, continue to echo the past nonsense from the Kentucky Department of Education? Why does the KYA rely on data that even the Kentucky Commissioner of Education now admits over-reported graduation rates by about 10 points?
This graph, which I have used before, shows the difference between the nonsense that the KYA continues to quote and the results of graduation rate calculations by the US Department of Education.
By the way, I asked KYA about their continued use of data that even the federal government is no longer willing to accept. KYA weakly replied that they and their parent organization for this report series have decided to use government reported data.
OK, which government data?
The graph above shows the difference between graduation rates calculated with the Kentucky Department of Education’s inflated formula, which is being dropped, and the graduation rates reported by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
Why continue to report bad data?
Over to you, KYA.