Archive for Wednesday, January 10, 2001

District schools graded

January 10, 2001

The Baldwin school district received its own report cards from the Kansas Department of Education last week. School board members expressed a few concerns, but quickly learned that numbers can be deceiving.

According to the report that graded the 1999-2000 school year, the dropout rate at Baldwin High School exceeded the state average Baldwin's rate was 4.9 percent, while the state average was 3.1 percent. BHS principal Joe Gresnick, said the report doesn't reflect circumstances.

"In Baldwin, if you have three kids drop out, that's significant," said Gresnick about how percentage rates are affected in a small town. "I had three kids drop out, take their GED and go to college full time."

Board president Ed Schulte said the board will look into numbers going in the wrong direction, such as the dropout rate increasing from 2.7 percent the year before.

"So we doubled our dropout rate, let's look at the circumstances," Schulte said. "I didn't see anything (in the report cards) that needed responding too."

A similar concern was brought up about the seemingly high rate of violent acts against students at Marion Springs Elementary School. The report says 13.2 acts per 100 students occurred, compared to the state average of one. Supt. James White said the school could report violent acts differently than other schools in the district, which ranged from 0 to 2.2 violent acts against students.

How the district's students fared on standardized tests also was compared with the state average. The district didn't see any alarming numbers there, either. And White said he expects to see improvement there next year, because the district has made curriculum changes geared to help students perform better on standardized tests.

"That should make some difference over time," White said.

The report cards are available on the Kansas Department of Education website, www.ksbe.state.ks.us

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