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The Times
  • Herkimer Co. school officials review graduation rates

  • On Monday, the State Education Department released the graduation rates for districts around the state. According to Gatehouse News Service, of 30 local schools, all did better than the statewide average for 2011 except for Herkimer High School.

    Herkimer’s graduation rate of 68.5 percent was below the state’s 80 percent goal of for districts.

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  • On Monday, the State Education Department released the graduation rates for districts around the state. According to Gatehouse News Service, of 30 local schools, all did better than the statewide average for 2011 except for Herkimer High School.
    Herkimer’s graduation rate of 68.5 percent was below the state’s 80 percent goal of for districts.
    “We are disappointed with the number, but we are taking the time to specifically look into which students were affected,” said interim Herkimer Superintendent of Schools Gary Tutty. “We don’t make excuses and we want to look further into the numbers and be certain of the actual number of students who have not graduated to prevent this from happening again.”
    “We’re more concerned about the actual students than about the numbers,” he added.
    Ilion’s gradation rate was 81.2 percent, which was above the state goal but, the district’s rate did drop one percent from the 2010 graduation rate of 82 percent.
    “I won’t be happy and no one should expect me to be until Ilion reaches a graduation rate of 100 percent,” said Superintendent of Schools Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. “Our goal is 100 percent and I’ll continue to be dissatisfied until we reach our goal.” He added, “For those who do graduate it’s my hope that all those students are prepared, productive citizens and college ready.”
    The Ilion Central School District is hopeful its newly implemented annual professional performance review process will better evaluate the teachers’ effectiveness on students.
    “The plan does have some challenges, but we can’t overlook the flaws in the current assessment system,” said Tangorra. “The plan will be better perfected as time goes and through use of the plan we will see how to better serve our students.”
    The Dolgeville Central School District had a graduation rate of 75 percent — a 10 percent drop from the district’s 2010 graduation rate of 85 percent.
    Superintendent of Schools Christine Reynolds said when a district is small the failure of only two students to graduate can make a huge difference in the graduation rate.
    “The graduation rates  given by the State Education Department only reflect those students who completed their schooling within four years and not counting those that completed high school just a year late,” she said. “We do everything we can to keep students enrolled and unfortunately there are forces beyond our control, but overall our goal is to have 100 percent of our students graduate.”
    Poland Central School had a similar graduation rate as Dolgeville. From 2010 the district’s graduation rate dropped seven percentage points to 77.3 percent.
    Superintendent Laura Dutton also said the district’s goal is 100 percent.
    “Since we did not reach our goal we plan to drill down into the data and look at individual students and how we could have made a difference,” she said.
    Page 2 of 2 - While New York’s high school graduation rate continues to inch upward, too few of the students earning diploma’s are ready for college and careers, state education officials said .
    “New York’s overall graduation rate has improved, but nearly a quarter of our students still don’t graduate after four years,” said Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch. “And too many of those students who do graduate aren’t ready for college and careers.”
    Contributing: GateHouse News Service and The Associated Press
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