I’ve been looking over the new Nonacademic Data Brief for 2010 that the Kentucky Department of Education released on June 1, 2010. There is a very unsatisfactory trend in the numbers. While they look bad for females, they look much worse for male students in this state.
The numbers I am referring to are the membership numbers by grade found on Page 7 of the Brief. They are used to compute dropout rates.
While the dropout rates are not reliable, the membership numbers agree well with some other reports from the department. Here is what those numbers look like as we follow the high school graduating class of 2009 from their seventh to twelfth grade years.
Now flash forward to 2009. There are only 21,231 males and 21.801 females left in the class.
Along the way we lost at least 5,200 male students and 3,112 females. Incredibly, the males sank from a surplus of over 1,500 students compared to the females in the seventh grade to where they were well under 500 students behind the females as graduation grew near.
The data in the table implies we lost 5,200 males plus 3,112 females, or 8,312 students total from this class before they graduated. The Nonacademic Data Brief would like us to believe we only lost 5,806 students, but no-one, including the state auditor, has believed the fiction of the department’s dropout numbers for many years.
Sadly, it gets even worse.
I am pretty sure that about 1,500 more students were added to the class when it entered ninth grade. Those students came from private schools in Kentucky that only run K to grade 8 programs. I don’t have a breakout by sex.
Anyway, add in those 1,500 students and it implies the real loss for the Class of 2009 is closer to 9,800 students.
And, boys are taking a much larger hit than girls in these very sad numbers.