DPS Grads and College

A new study, with coverage in the Denver Post and EdNews Colorado (longer and more detail). The take away:

A first-of-its-kind study tracking Denver Public Schools’ students six years after high school graduation shows just 56 percent enrolled even briefly in college and far fewer earned a degree of any kind.

For Hispanic students and those from poor families, who make up the majority of DPS’ graduates, the numbers are worse.

Only 45 percent of low-income students who graduated from Denver high schools went on to any college and only 39 percent of Hispanic students did. Of those, more than half in each group dropped out within six years. […]

The study found that all DPS graduates who entered college were less likely to obtain a degree than similar districts nationally. Of DPS graduates who entered community college, 49 percent were still in school after 3 years and 6 percent graduated.

Unfortunately (to me anyway) the study does not appear (confession – I skimmed it) to link proficiency data. Here is recent 10th grade DPS  data (the percent of students at or above proficiency). The annual increase is 1.1 points:

2006: 43.6%
2007: 42.7%
2008: 45.8%

To me, the reaction to the study comprises more hand-wringing than it should.  While I’m sure we will enter into the same cauldron of social factors, it’s pretty clear that most DPS graduates are not prepared for college, which in my mind is probably a (the?) primary reason why they both don’t attend and don’t finish.

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