Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

November 2, 2013

Right direction

More graduates, fewer dropouts

More Allegany County public school students are earning their high school diplomas, while at the same time fewer are dropping out of school. That was the good news in a report released last week by the Allegany County Board of Education.

School officials have begun following a set group of students from their freshman through senior years to pinpoint how they are performing academically. Called a four-year cohort rate, the process found that the local graduation rate in 2012 rose to 89.84 percent. That is more than two percentage points higher than the 2010 rate of 87.21.

As for dropouts, in 2010 more than one out of 10 students left school. The 2012 rate was much improved, at 6.68 percent.

The 2013 senior class was the fifth class required to pass the High School Assessment in algebra/data analysis, biology and English to graduate. Beginning with this year’s ninth-grade class, passing the government assessment subjects will again become a graduation requirement.

Of the students who received a diploma in the spring, 86.2 percent met the standard HSA requirement and 13.8 percent met the requirement through the alternative Bridge Plan for Academic Validation, which is the project-based alternative to the HSA exams.  

David Cox, superintendent of the Allegany County public school system, said school systems across the nation are trying to comply with federal No Child Left Behind Act academic standards. “The targets will continue to rise over the next four years. We are pleased that our students continue to graduate at increasingly higher rates due to the focused hard work of our teachers, principals, specialists, instructional staff and the students themselves,” he said.

Reducing the dropout rate at a time when the local economy has struggled is a commendable improvement. Students who quit school before graduating are more likely than their peers to be unemployed, have poor health, live in poverty, be on public assistance, and be single parents.

The improved diploma and dropout rates being recorded for Allegany County are encouraging.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Street flowers Street flowers

    Walk along Frostburg’s Main Street in the spring and summer and one can’t miss the beautiful floral arrangements that adorn the lampposts.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • President and Obamacare: Who needs Congress?

    Being a fellow from a small town like Cumberland I don’t always really understand what’s going on in Washington. But I have watched a few houses being built over the years. I even helped some with one house, but my brother fired me from that work pretty quickly, mainly because it was his house being built.

    April 22, 2014

  • Sweet Success Business Forum this evening in Frostburg

    As a member of the Frostburg Business and Professional Association (FBPA), I am pleased to inform the community of the “Sweet Success” event sponsored by the city of Frostburg and our organization.

    April 22, 2014

  • First base First base

    The idea of spending up to $7,500 for a study about the possibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area should at least be allowed to reach first base.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • You can help United Way reach its goal

    The United Way of Allegany County campaign for 2013-14 will end April 30 and to date has raised more than $430,000, which is over 86 percent of its goal. But there is still $70,000 to be raised in a very short time.

    April 21, 2014

  • Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift

    While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.

    April 18, 2014

  • Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man

    I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.

    April 18, 2014

  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?

    Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

    April 17, 2014

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo