Dropout rates in the Oklahoma City school district more than doubled last year, and tougher graduation requirements may be part of the reason.
About 762 students in seventh through 12th grades dropped out of school last year compared with 358 the previous year, according to a report that will be presented to board members Tuesday night.
“I think it has a lot to do with students who haven't passed their end-of-school exams,” said George Kimball, the district's chief information officer.
“If they have tried multiple times, there is some discouragement and they may say ‘why am I continuing to try?'”
Students previously were allowed to graduate even if they didn't pass the end-of-instruction exams.
Now, they are required to pass four of seven tests before they are awarded a diploma.
About 46,000 students attend Oklahoma City Public Schools.
The district recorded 705 dropouts in the 2006-07 school year but had been seeing a decline in these numbers before last year's spike.
A returning student is considered a “no show” if he or she misses the first day of a new school year and a dropout if not back by the end of the first quarter, Kimball said