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D.C. Charter Schools See Five Percent Decrease In Graduation Rate

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By Kavitha Cardoza

The 2009 graduation rate for D.C.public charter schools is above the national average of 69 percent but still saw a five percent decrease from the previous academic year.

The charter school graduation rate dropped from 88 to 83 percent. Josephine Baker is the Executive Director of the Public Charter School board. She says the decrease may be because in 2007, seven high schools moved under their control. Baker speculates they may have kept statistics differently.

"It may have taken them a year to be as precise as we would want them to be," she says.

Baker says the emphasis won't be on figuring out reasons for the decrease, it'll be on improving how charter schools keep records.

"Let's say there were schools that did not accurately record where students went," she says. "If they put nothing down, that student is considered a dropout."

The graduation rate for traditional public schools is 72 percent. That marked an increase of three percent over the previous academic year.

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