Principal, committee to delve into student data

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By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

TELL CITY - TCHS "has one of the highest standards, if not the highest standards in the state, in terms of graduation requirements," Principal Dale Stewart told school-board members at their regular meeting April 14.

"That's a good thing, " he continued, "but the way the state and the federal government looks at your accountability system sometimes, a higher standard can be a hindrance in terms of accountability. But we got some information this morning, very positive information, in terms of our accountability."

He asked that the item be tabled until he and the school's improvement committee had time to look into the data received.

Board member Larry Bryant provided background to the issue, explaining the school went to a 47-credit graduation requirement approximately six years ago. Transfer students who come from schools with lower requirements struggle to catch up, he explained.

"The other issue is," Stewart said, "the state really holds you accountable for your graduation rates, and when you've got that higher standard, a student from another school might graduate with 40 credits ... and we might have a student with 45 who doesn't graduate.

The principal said last Monday the problem is more acute for students who transfer into the corporation as juniors or seniors. The new information he mentioned at the board meeting was that the school had made "adequate yearly progress," a designation assigned under the No Child Left Behind Act to schools that meet standards in a number of areas.

He hadn't yet had time to assemble the school-improvement committee to discuss the higher credit requirement and related issues, such as whether it hurts graduation rates, one of the standards high schools must meet to be designated adequate.