Letters to the Editor

Letters | Graduation rates in our school district, Eastside

As a candidate for the Snoqualmie Valley School Board, I have gone to great lengths to make sure every statement I make is accurate.

In an article published in the Valley Record on July 24, about school board candidates, I stated that “the Snoqualmie Valley School District has the highest dropout rate of any Eastside School District.”

On my website, I explain that the six comparable Eastside school districts are Bellevue, Issaquah, Lake Washington, Riverview, Tahoma and Snoqualmie Valley. Four of these districts border our school district and all six have similar student demographics; http://springforschools.org/increase-the-graduation-rate.

However, a note at the end of the article implied that my statement was not accurate. Reporter Carol Ladwig wrote: “According to the latest OSPI report card, the (Snoqualmie Valley) district has the fourth-highest dropout rate for Eastside school districts.”

When I contacted Ladwig, she {referred to data showing} that the three school districts with a higher dropout rate were Renton, Kent and Auburn. I pointed out that these three school districts are not on the east side of Lake Washington. All three are south of Lake Washington. In addition, all three have demographic characteristics which are dramatically different from our school district. They all have at-risk student populations (including poverty, bilingual and special education) which are more than double the at-risk population in our school district.

Tables from the OSPI Report Card confirm that the Snoqualmie Valley School District has the lowest graduation rate of the six comparable Eastside school districts and that the three South End school districts are dramatically different from the six Eastside districts.

We should all be concerned about the abnormally low graduation rate in our school district. Dropping out of school is not just a personal tragedy for the child and the child’s family; it is also a problem for our entire community—as it increases drug abuse, crime, chronic unemployment and many other social problems. We must take steps to better understand why students are dropping out of school and what we can do to help them stay in school and graduate.

David Spring, North Bend

Candidate for the Snoqualmie Valley School Board

 

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