Graduation Rates: Calculated By More Than Just a Diploma

CHS GRADUATION RATES FOR 2013-2014 -- Centrals graduation rate has seen a slight increase and is in search of an even bigger increase for the 2016 school year!

CHS GRADUATION RATES FOR 2013-2014 — Central’s graduation rate has seen a slight increase and is in search of an even bigger increase for the 2016 school year!

Preston Fore, Staff Writer

High school students work and strive toward the moment when they walk across the stage at graduation to receive their diploma. All of these students make up the graduation rate for Central High School, and that rate is an overall impression of that school year. In order for students to graduate, they must obtain a minimum of 23 high school credits, which is something that takes hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn.

“The graduation rate for the Class of 2013 was about 83.1%; in 2014, it increased slightly to 83.7%,” explained Principal Finley King.

The graduation rates from the Class of 2015 are still embargoed by the state of Tennessee but are expected to become public data with the release of the state report card in November.

Despite these seemingly strong numbers, Central’s graduation rate is lower than some other schools in Tennessee and Hamilton County. This does not mean that Central High has more struggling students who drop out or use the adult high school program. There are many other factors that affect graduation rates.

“The graduation rate is based on the cohort, starting at the beginning of students’ 9th grade year. When it is time to graduate four years later, along with students having their required amount of credits, we must have proper documentation for transfer students to confirm that they enrolled successfully somewhere else, or if they moved to Central High, that they received any credits at their old school.  If not, those students count against our graduation rate. Additionally, we must have documentation that foreign exchange students participated in their exchange program, ” stated Mrs. Lindsey Ruggles, the senior class guidance counselor.

Like many schools, transfer students who switch out remain a problem that hurts Central High’s graduation rate. In addition, Central has another variable that changes our rate.

“Central takes in Special Education students from both Ooltewah and Tyner, regardless [as] to where they are zoned. This is because Central was chosen out of the three schools to educate the nearly 100 Special Education students in our area. A few students from the CDC department receive a Special Education diploma. These students are unfortunately counted by the state as “dropouts” because they did not receive a Tennessee or Hamilton County diploma, which in essence, hurts our rate,” shared Ruggles.

The bottom line is that if any student has ever been enrolled at Central High School, they must either graduate with a Tennessee state or Hamilton County diploma, or Central must prove that they enrolled somewhere else upon transferring. The Central Digest welcomes all students to get a great education at Central High School and encourages students to work to the best of their ability to receive their high school diploma.