New Graduation Rates Leave Some Teachers Confused

By: Zakk Gammon Email
By: Zakk Gammon Email

Glasgow High School English teacher Lisa Bartley is preparing for her eighth year in the classroom.

"We just really focus on thinking skills," she said.

She says her main goal this year is to make sure her kids can graduate and are prepared for their future, whatever that may be.

"I've seen students come in who think 'I'm not going to make it'," said Bartley.

But with the proper attention, she says students can do anything.

"I'm hoping that if I can give them the tools and attention they need here, their transition to college will be a piece of cake," the teacher said.

The Federal Department of Education began computing graduation rates this year by how many students got a four-year diploma using an average of 9th and 10th grade enrollment.

The problem is schools have never used this method before, so administrators have nothing to tell them if the rate is up or down.

"If you have one that's not successful, then I've let down that child. And I take that very seriously," said Principal Keith Hale.

Hale says that's why he's not necessarily going to worry about the new rates, based upon the No Child Left Behind Act.

"What do we have in place that get kids excited about coming to school, wanting to come to school and looking forward to the
educational opportunities we have in place?," he said.

Hale says that outlook is what teachers will focus on this year, to make sure all students get their diploma, something Bartley is excited about.

"Really, I just want to give the kids confidence," said Bartley.

And she says that makes her confident, no matter the statistics, she'll see all her students walk down the graduation line in May. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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