Idaho’s virtual schools have been unfairly blamed for a decline in the state’s graduation rate, two charter school leaders said late Tuesday.
And in fairness, a number of factors account for the state’s dropping graduation rate — including a new method of calculating the numbers.
The back-and-forth began Monday morning, when State Board of Education President Don Soltman addressed the Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. Soltman said the state’s 77.3 percent graduation rate for 2013-14 can be traced to two low numbers — a 20 percent graduation rate in the state’s virtual charter schools, and a 36 percent graduation rate in the alternative high schools. The numbers for conventional public high schools came in at 88 percent; for the remaining charter schools, the number was 91 percent.