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Daily Churn: Grad rates inch up

What’s churning:

It’s sometimes hard to see change looking at year-to-year education data, and a longer view can show a different picture.

Colorado’s high school graduation rates rose to 76.4 percent in 2009 from 67.5 percent in 1999, according to calculations in the 2012 version of the Diplomas Count report by Education Week.

The study shows Colorado slightly ahead of the national rate for every year in the 10-year period. For 2009 the national rate was 73.4 percent, and Colorado ranked 18th in the nation. See the state report here, along with an explanation of how the study calculates graduation rates.

Each year’s Diplomas Count has a special focus, and the 2012 version examines Hispanic students.

“Nationwide improvements were driven, in large part, by impressive gains among Latino students,” the report noted.

“Because the Latino graduation rate, at 63 percent, lags substantially behind the U.S. average, this group makes up a disproportionate number of the students who do not finish high school. Of the 1.1 million members of the class of 2012 that we project will fail to graduate with a diploma, about 310,000 (or 27 percent) will be Latinos. Two states — California and Texas — will produce half the nation’s Hispanic dropouts.”

Hispanics make up 28.4 percent of Colorado school enrollment, compared to 21.5 percent nationwide.

Get links to more report documents here. There’s also a clickable map that allows you to drill down for individual school district information.

University of Northern Colorado trustees on Friday approved tuition rates for the 2012-13 academic year. Tuition for resident undergraduates enrolled in 13-16 credit hours will rise by 3 percent, or $164, to $5,464 for the year. As many state college do, UNC will use some of the additional revenue for financial aid, and Institutional financial aid for undergrads will also increase by $4.5 million. About 85 percent of UNC undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Room and board rates will rise by 3 percent, and fees by 2 percent. More information

The trustees also had a discussion of Metro State’s recent decision to create a special class of tuition for undocumented students (see story). “The consensus was to continue keeping an eye on it,” said UNC spokesman Nate Haas.

Citizens for Jeffco Schools, the group supporting the proposed tax overrides and bond issue, wasted no time in launching its campaign Friday. The district school board acted the night before to put the measures on the November ballot. Watch video of the launch event here.

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday signed the last bills from the 2012 legislature, including two education measures. One allows resident tuition for military dependents and the other requires parent consent for students to fill out school surveys. The governor didn’t veto any education bills this year. Refresh your memory about legislative action on education with our Education Bill Tracker.

What’s on tap:

WEDNESDAY

The State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education meets starting at 8:30 a.m. at the system offices, 9101 East Lowry Blvd. Agenda

The State Board of Education meets starting at 9 a.m. in the boardroom at 201 E. Colfax Ave. Up for consideration are several innovation schools applications from the Falcon school district. Agenda
THURSDAY

The Denver board will hold a special public comment meeting at 5 p.m. at district headquarters.

The Jefferson County board has a special meeting scheduled. Time not yet announced.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Tough love: Tennessee plans to convert 10 failing Nashville schools into charter schools that will serve about 5,000 students by 2020. The switchover is being overseen by the Tennessee Achievement School District, created as part of Tennessee’s response to the federal Race to the Top initiative, which authorizes charter schools and also directly runs low-performing schools. The Tennessean has the story.

What postsecondary means: There’s a lot of chatter these days about just what “postsecondary” means. Critics say reformers are just trying to push every kid into a four-year college. But what kids do after high school is more nuanced than that, and certificates are the fastest-growing form of postsecondary credentials in the nation, surpassing associate and master’s degrees as the second most common award in higher education after the B.A. The Chronicle of Higher Education has the details on a new study.

The EdNews’ Churn is a roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education, published during the summer as news warrants. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org.

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