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SFPS dropout rate is falling

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SANTA FE – Santa Fe Public Schools finally has some good news on its dropout rate.

The school district announced Friday that, according to data released by the state Public Education Department, SFPS’s one year dropout rate was 2.8 percent for the 2012-2013 school year.

That’s a reduction by more than half from the previous school year, when the rate was 6 percent.

This is SFPS’s lowest one-year dropout rate in the past 10 years and is well below the statewide rate of 4.7 percent, according to a district news release.

The one-year dropout rate for 2012-2013 represents the percentage of students in grades 7-12 who either dropped out during that school year or who failed to return for the start of following school year, 2013-2014.

“These results reflect the hard work of our administrators, teachers and schools in implementing strategies which address our most at-risk populations,” Superintendent Joel Boyd said in the release.

“As a community, we have decided not to give up on a single child.”

However, SFPS’s latest showing in the more comprehensive four-year cohort graduation rate, announced in January, was down.

The district’s cohort graduation rate, intended to show how many students make it through high school, was 60 percent compared to a statewide average of 70.3 percent.

But Richard Bowman, the district’s chief accountability and strategy officers, said Friday the improvement in the one-year rate is “very significant.”

“It reflects the effort we’ve put forth to keep kids in school,” he said.

Bowman said the gains in the one-year rate will show up in the cohort rate four years from now.

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