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Michigan makes strides in calculating dropout, graduation rates


Michigan is doing a better job calculating high school dropout and graduation rates. That’s according a new report from the state auditor general’s office.

An audit in 2006 showed the state was not providing reliable data on graduations and dropouts. It made a list of recommendations for how the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) could do better.

Now, the auditor general says the department has met all those recommendations.

“It’s very helpful for not only legislators and folks that are following education, but for parents,” said CEPI spokesperson Kurt Weiss. “You can take a look at what the graduation rates are across the state, in particular school districts, and you can see how schools are doing when it comes to graduating their kids.”

Since 2006, state lawmakers passed legislation allowing CEPI to access school records that are critical for calculating graduation and dropout rates. The state also adopted a system that tracks students through their school careers.

“As the years go by, we’re now going to eventually be able to say that we’ve got students in our database that we can track K-through-12,” said Weiss.

Weiss says CEPI is still working to improve its data collection in areas such as bullying and school violence. Those were not areas that were addressed in the 2006 audit report.