The article in The Bee on “Grad rate climbs...,” (April 28) is not the entire truth. The school district said the difference between the graduation and dropout figures can be explained by a small number of students who take a fifth year of high school, are enrolled in a non-degree special education program or earn their GED through an adult education school.
The reality is that the district encourages or puts these 18- or 19-year-old high school students in the adult education program. I have seen the numbers increase, not decrease.
This is how the system works. First, they look to see if students have a chance of graduating by their fifth year. If they have a chance, these students are put into alternative programs not in their current high school. If they do not have a chance of graduating, then they are enrolled into adult school.
We are talking about students that have at least 100 or more credits left to graduate and are 18 or 19 years old. Taking a fifth year of high school to get your diploma, you are technically counted as a dropout by the state.