One more thing about that black male grad rate...
So, you saw this morning's news on the graduation rate in Pinellas. But here's one more tidbit...
After the Schott Foundation reported Pinellas County had the lowest grad rate in the nation among black males, superintendent Julie Janssen asked her research and development folks to do a little digging into the numbers.
In a two-page report, they concluded that a strict ninth-grade retention policy in effect in Pinellas County in 2004-05 could have skewed the numbers that Schott used in their calculations.
"The total number of ninth graders includes first time ninth graders and retained students who were not promoted," the report says. "This is the best data they can find to be consistent across all districts."
Indeed, the report shows that after the ninth-grade retention policy ended, the gap between the numbers of ninth-graders and 12th-graders narrowed.
The report concludes using Florida Department of Education figures to show that, while the rate may not be high, Pinellas has made gains: "Based on the Florida graduation rate calculation, Pinellas has increased the graduation rate for black students by 18.9% from 44. 5% (2006-07) to 63.4% (2008-09)."
We expect this isn't the end of this conversation.