March 5, 2017

Editorial: Grad, dropout numbers speak well of Worcester schools

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Flickr / Alberto G.

Worcester Public Schools are set to ring the bell on a new year.

Speechifying about education can put even the most ardent supporters to sleep. But data speak in clear, clipped sentences.

“Good job,” the rows and tables of numbers in the state’s annual graduation and dropout reports, released Tuesday, told the city of Worcester.

In recent years the city’s public school system has steadily upped its game on both figures.

Viewed across a decade, the difference is dramatic. While in 2006 the four-year graduation rate in Worcester was a poor 67.2 percent, last year it reached 81.9 percent, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reported. Similarly, the dropout rate has improved from 2007-2008’s worrisome 4.7 percent to last year’s 1.9 percent.

This change is real, and reflects concerted and thoughtful efforts to make our schools better performers on the many elements — not all of them measurable — that make up education.

Of course as a self-respecting school district, these marks also say: Needs improvement.

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