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Oklahoma City School Board members question numbers in dropout report

The percentage of students who drop out of Oklahoma City Public Schools has declined. In 2012, about 2.4 percent of students dropped out, compared to 3.7 percent the year before.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Published: March 6, 2013

Members of the Oklahoma City School Board challenged the honesty of a report about the number of high school dropouts in the district during a meeting Monday night.

District officials reported a dropout rate of 2.4 percent for 2012.

“What my concern is that we're manipulating numbers,” District 6 board member Jay Means said. “I'm just going to be candid. There's just no way.”

School board Vice Chairman Phil Horning said the dropout numbers for the district's predominantly black schools were unrealistic.

Horning cited Douglass, Northeast Academy and Star Spencer, which had a total of three dropouts.

“That's just implausible,” Horning said. “I made this same comment about Douglass last year. ... Or, to their credit, are our African-American seniors hanging in there?”

Means agreed.

“We should be a national model if these numbers are true,” Means said. “We should be getting national recognition.”

Four schools had no dropouts: Classen School of Advanced Studies, Northeast Academy, Pathways Middle College and Star Spencer.

Capitol Hill High School had the highest number of dropouts and the highest percentage of dropouts. Last year, 69 students — about 7 percent of the student body — dropped out.

The numbers for the remaining high schools are:

• Douglass: 3 students, or 1 percent.

• Emerson: 32 students, or 6 percent.

• John Marshall: 9 students, or 2 percent.

• Northwest Classen: 30 students, or 3 percent.

• Oklahoma Centennial: 11 students, or 3 percent.

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