Figures released by the Alabama Department of Education Thursday show that the graduation rate in Montgomery County has surpassed the state average for the 2009-2010 school year. The system’s 88.73 percent graduation rate is the highest in recent memory, is in line with neighboring school systems and better than the state average of 87.62 percent.
Superintendent Barbara W. Thompson was pleased with the more than a 10-point increase over the previous year’s 79 percent rate and the 2007-2008 77 percent number. While the district is celebrating, the cold realization is that there is still much work to do. Thompson knows and that while these numbers show marked improvement and different formulas can show different results. No matter what the number, the work will continue until the graduation rate is 100 percent.
“I am very pleased with this increase,” said Thompson. “We have been working very hard to put programs in place to help turn the tide of what has been one of the biggest challenges for our schools. Our teachers and administrators are to be congratulated for their hard work. We are making progress, but we won’t be satisfied until every student graduates.”
The three Montgomery Public Schools magnet high schools did indeed reach that goal. Booker T. Washington, Brewbaker Technology, and Loveless Academic Magnet schools all had graduation rates of 100 percent. Carver High School boasts a graduation rate of 96.45 percent, Lanier was at 93.24 percent, Lee has an 84.33 percent rate, and Jefferson Davis high school’s graduation rate was 81.84 percent.
Thompson credits the advances with the new high school academies, credit recovery programs, and the use of data to help individual students graduate.
“Our teachers and staff have done a wonderful job focusing on our children and helping them prepare for their futures,” said Thompson. “The board has worked hard to help us find the resources to concentrate in those areas and keep us all headed in the right direction. All the programs are wonderful, but when it comes down to it, it is all about caring about students and doing what is best for them.”
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(Article Source: Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce News Release)