ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools’ graduation rate took a big hit at all but one high school, and four high schools saw graduation rates plummet.
Those big drops happened at high schools in different parts of Albuquerque and include Cibola High School in the far northwest, Highland High School just east of Nob Hill, Manzano High School in the heights, and Rio Grande High School in the South Valley.
Those four schools saw graduation rates drop by more than 10 percentage points in 2014 compared to the year before.
The only traditional APS high school that saw grad rates go up was Valley High School, ad that was by less than a point.
Not counting the district’s charter schools, APS’ district-wide graduation rate dropped in 2014 to 67 percent.
This comes as APS spent a lot of time last year promoting the 2013 grad rate of 73 percent which was the best the district’s ever done.
APS officials say the district’s chief academic officer will address the drop later Tuesday. Last week, the district’s acting superintendent Brad Winter said he was disappointed to see the rates drop. He says the number one problem is truancy.
Winter also says the district has launched a few new initiatives in the last year to help. They include a new program that’s put social workers in 27 of the district’s schools.
“The data that has come in has already showed that it is helping, so we’re looking to expand that program and use some of this money to put more of these social workers and coaches in our middle schools and high school,” said Brad Winter.
District officials say they’re also trying to target younger kids by working with the University of Virginia on plans to turn around six poorly-performing elementary schools.
The best APS high school graduation rates last year belonged to La Ccueva at 84 percent.
The worst? Highland High School which barely topped 50 percent.