Saturday, June 14, 2008

Diplomas Count, Part I: The Congressional Representative’s Perspective

In my mailbox today was Education Week’s annual report on graduation rates, Diplomas Count. They do an excellent job with their theme issues, and the neat thing about Diplomas Count is just how accessible it is; there’s something in here for everyone. I’ll be taking some time in the coming weeks to highlight the Washington State pieces from the report.

The first interesting bit is a way of thinking about things that had never occurred to me before: looking at graduation rates by congressional district. Most of the state does merely OK, in the 66% to 75% range on the scale that EdWeek uses, but we seem to have a problem on the coast and in southwest Washington: the 6th congressional district (the peninsula and Tacoma, represented by Norm Dicks), the 3rd (southwest, Brian Baird), and the 9th (Olympia and southern King County, Adam Smith) all trail the state average by falling in the 56%-65% range.

I’m sure there’s a reason for each of them to trail, but still.

A fun summer project for someone that's not me would be to break things out by county. I'd suspect that even though the overall picture looks good that the lowest graduation rate could be Adams, Stevens, or Ferry.

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