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Greenwich School Board Wants College Grad Stats

GREENWICH, Conn. – After disputing the low college graduation rates reported in a recent study , the Greenwich Board of Education wants to find out just how many Greenwich High graduates go on to complete college degrees.

According to the study, 53 percent of the 598 students in Greenwich's Class of 2004 went on to earn college degrees. But earlier this month, Interim Superintendent Roger Lulow said the district found inaccuracies in the report's data.

“Part of the difference in the enrollment in colleges is that some colleges, like Sacred Heart, did not participate in the study,” Lulow said in an interview with The Daily Greenwich . “So our numbers come up totally different when we compare our base number of graduates to the number that show going on to college and completing it.”

The P-20 Council , the Board of Regents for Higher Education and the state Department of Education analyzed data collected by National Student Clearinghouse , a nonprofit organization that verifies and reports student degree and enrollment across the country.

School board member Nancy Kail asked Lulow at the board’s Thursday night meeting whether it was possible to collect original data to measure student success rates.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to exclude that,” said Lulow. “I do know from past lives how very difficult it is to keep track of graduates.” He added that in his last run as superintendent in Greenwich from 1998 to 2002, the high school tried to track graduates, but it became too difficult to pursue.

“If you can’t find this set of kids who graduated, then we need to explore where someone has done this, if there is such a place,” said Lulow.

He also said the graduation rate as reported in the study showed that students weren’t staying in school but didn’t specify why.

Board member Peter Sherr also suggested exploring why students are not staying in college. “There is data we need to look at as a board to see if what we’re trying to do is successful. Some of that data we are fortunate to get from the district and some from the state, but there are probably some gaps,” said Sherr. “We need to see if, in fact, the strategies we’re investing in and the goals we’re trying to achieve are actually measurable.”

Lulow suggested determining whether any school districts have collected data on former college graduation rates and discuss how the district may implement those methods at the next board work session in February or March.

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