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CCS To Target Graduation Rates Of Fifth-Year Seniors

Ohio Public Radio

Solving the challenges facing at least 52 seniors could be key to boosting Columbus City Schools' grade on the state report card - and may help ward off a potential state takeover.  

Alison Holm explains.

In her first board meeting as superintendent, Doctor Talisa Dixon announced the district will target the graduation rates of the fifth-year cohort - senior who failed to graduate last year. 

The district is already anticipating improvement on the graduation rate of the fourth year seniors, from 78 percent to 82.1 percent, which means improving to a "D" grade. If at least 52 of the 125 fifth-year seniors graduate by August, the state grade for that cohort will go up to a "C". Chief Academic Officer Alesia Gillison says several department are coming together to make that happen.

"The first thing that we're going to do is go through the transcripts to see what is it that they're missing.  Is it an industry credential?  Is it an end-of-course exam? Is it credits? Whatever it is, we're going to wrap ourselves around them and make sure they get what they need.  So then,  it's at least 52 all the way through to increase that graduation rate."

The district received an overall "F" grade last year. Under the terms of the controversial "Youngstown Plan" passed by the state legislature, a district that get three consecutive failing grades can be taken over by a state-appointed CEO with sweeping powers. The grade that will be given in September is based  on the current school year's peformances.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
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