Atlantic High school graduation and dropout rates


March 13th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

The four-year graduation rate at the Atlantic High School fell below the statewide average for 2011-12, according to the Iowa Department of Education. That news came from Atlantic Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein, during Monday night’s meeting of the Atlantic School Board. The graduation information from the DOE was broken down into a four- and five-year study, or cohort. Amstein said Atlantic’s 4-year cohort was 84.55, while the statewide average was 89.26%.

Atlantic’s five-year graduation rate was 91.87, which was slightly above the statewide average of 91.40%. Amstein said 11 students dropped out of the district last year, making the dropout rate 2.50%, while the state average is 3.20%. Amstein says while the five-year graduation rate and drop-out rates are below the statewide average, there is still much work to be done within the district to address the higher-than-average 4-year cohort, and the dropout rate.

Amstein was concerned that the graduation rate in the district for the 2011-12 calendar year was the lowest recorded over the past five-years. He said the administrative staff needs to sit down and try to determine what needs to be done to correct to graduation rate and address the dropout issue. He says they conduct exit interviews with students to find out why kids drop out, but no two circumstances are the same, and the reasons vary.

The Iowa Department of Education (IDE) has collected individual student level graduation and dropout data since the 2004-2005 school year, through Project EASIER (Electronic Access System for Iowa Education Records). In the EASIER system, each student has an assigned unique state student identification number. Iowa’s 2009 graduating class was the first group of students to have a statewide identifica­tion number for five years.