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On Halloween, Mark Roosevelt, Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools, announced that he's attempting again to close Schenley High School and move its students out of Oakland into existing Middle School buildings in East Liberty and the Hill District
 
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10-30-07 5 city high schools among 47 in state falling short

 
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:58 am    Post subject: 10-30-07 5 city high schools among 47 in state falling short Reply with quote



5 city high schools among 47 in state that fall short on grads
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
By Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The report that Johns Hopkins University researchers produced using U.S. Department of Education data identifies 47 Pennsylvania high schools in which 60 percent or fewer of incoming freshmen make it to graduation.

Five are Pittsburgh public schools: Carrick, Langley, Oliver, Peabody and Westinghouse high schools. District spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said the five have repeatedly missed the mark for standards set under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which points to problems that could increase dropout rates.

"That's why we have created the office of high school reform to look at reinventing our high schools to ensure the needs of our students are met," she said.

The national report was based on analysis of federal data done at Johns Hopkins University at the request of The Associated Press. The resulting report concluded that 1 in 10 high schools are "dropout factories" because of high dropout rates. That amounts to 1,700 schools nationwide. Senior classes were tracked for three years in a row.

Also on the list are three of four high schools in the Armstrong School District: Elderton, Kittanning and West Shamokin. But all four were considered to be making adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind standards, including for high school graduation.

The Armstrong district's most recent report under the federal law lists graduation rates of 95.7 percent at Elderton, 80.27 percent at Kittanning and 91.46 percent at West Shamokin.

Jonathan Szish, Armstrong's school and community relations coordinator, said the numbers in the national report "are not consistent" with its state-published graduation rates.

In an AP story, Robert Balfanz of John Hopkins' Center for Social Organization of Schools said that most of the students nationwide who didn't make it to the senior year dropped out although some transferred.

The Johns Hopkins report may not have differentiated transfer students from dropouts. The Armstrong School District has a high transfer rate to the full-day program at Lenape Technical School. Of this year's high school seniors, 362 attend one of the district's high schools, while 155 go to Lenape Tech.

The national report also lists Aliquippa High School, which the state considers to be making progress under No Child Left Behind.

It met the standard with a graduation rate of 86.27 percent on its most recent yearly progress report.

First published on October 30, 2007 at 12:00 am
Education writer Eleanor Chute can be reached at echute@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1955
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