Why do some Colorado schools see less than half of students graduate?
In one out of every seven Colorado high schools, half or fewer of the students who were supposed to make up the Class of 2018 graduated last year — and unless trends change dramatically, many of them never will.
An analysis by The Denver Post of data from the 2017-2018 school year found 81 Colorado high schools graduated no more than half of their students within four years. Thirty-eight of those schools still hadn’t graduated more than half of the Class of 2015 by the end of 2018. Even with GEDs included, 23 schools still don’t crack the 50-percent mark.
But state officials urged caution in blaming schools for low graduation rates. The majority are “alternative education campuses,” which serve students who already have dropped out once or are at risk of doing so, said Judith Martinez, director of the Colorado Department of Education’s Office of Dropout Prevention and Student Re-Engagement.