Graduation rates on the rise for Topeka High School students

Education 21st Century

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Graduation rates for a local high school have increased by nearly 20% in the last 10 years.

This graph below, provided by Topeka High’s principal Rebecca Morrisey shows their graduation rates since 2009.

You can see that rates have been increasing steadily for the last four years, all the way up to 91.5% for 2020.

Morrisey said this is because teachers let each student learn at their own pace, and give them multiple chances to show what they know on assignments and tests, instead of just the usual one attempt.

Finesse Ware, Topeka High senior, said she’s taken advantage of those options and gotten better grades on schoolwork, which she has appreciated.

“Instead of focusing on trying to catch up or trying to study everything all over again, I know where I’m having problems and I can just focus on that one issue and I can fix it,” Ware said.

“We’ve kind of stood over them most of their lives and told them what to do, and I think this process asks them to own some of that, know what they want to do,” Morrisey said. “You heard Finesse speak to I can go back and redo things, make sure I know them better. “That gives them some ownership and some power within their learning process.”

Morrisey said that race, socioeconomic status, language barriers, and special education have been factors that have impacted a students likelihood to graduate.

You can see the evolution of those on the graph below:

The district doesn’t expect to reach a graduation rate of 100% percent, but they do expect that every student in each senior class has a plan in one of the five areas post-grad:

  • 4 Year School
  • 2 Year School
  • Technical School
  • Military
  • Job

For more updates from Topeka High School, click here.

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