I blogged yesterday on the new formula the Kentucky Department of Education is going to use to calculate high school graduation rates. It is similar to a formula called the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate which was developed some time ago by the US Department of Education.
There are actually data available to calculate the AFGR for Kentucky for 2008 and several previous years, and I have done that as shown in this graph.
Note that the 2008 AFGR rate is nearly six points lower than the official 2008 rate from the Kentucky Department of Education of 84.52 percent. That amounts to about 3,000 students that the department officially says graduated when they really didn’t.
The good news here is that we have made a little progress, but we still are losing too many kids each year, and we are losing a lot more of them than the department wants to officially admit.
The data to compute these more accurate graduation rates are available now, and I don’t see any reason why we cannot start to use this more accurate formula for official reporting next year.
If I am missing something, please let me know. Also, for more on the AFGR calculations, see our new Wiki item, “Averaged Freshman Graduation Rates.”