According to a recent gazette article suggesting an 82% graduation rate, which is far above last years 48%.

This year, there were 173 graduates out of 212 senior four students.

In 2006, 148 gained a Bermuda School Certificate out of 309 senior four students.

These numbers open up a whole host of questions because such a large one year increase is unfathomable. The first which springs to mind is what is the dropout rate and how do the graduation rates reflect dropouts? One should quickly note that there were 97 less students in this years total than there were last year. How many dropped out?

What were the student to teacher ratios? If there were 20 teachers overall in both years, that would mean student/teacher ratios of 15 students per teacher for last year and 11 this year. If true, what would the extra attention garnered for each student say about the graduation rate?

What is the larger picture? What calculations were used? What are the base numbers? Where are the rest of the stats?

Lets go back to an old gazette article published on January 26th of 2007 for reference: School statistics flaw corrected

In previous years, said Mr. Horton, students who were not enrolled in the BSC programme were included in published graduation rates, giving an inaccurate set of results.

He said previous statistics were also less reliable because there were was no way of knowing whether students had left the school system before graduating privately in Bermuda or abroad; if they were institutionalized; or if they dropped out in the traditional sense of the word.

Schools have now been

equipped with the means to track where a student comes from when they enter the school system, and when they exit.

“when they enter the school system, and when they exit.” Where are these numbers according to how many and why they entered or exited? Where are the numbers for the Bermuda School Certificate (BSC) enrollment. How many of our youth did and did not enroll? What percentage?

Are the requirements of attaining the Bermuda School Certificate the same? What were the test scores for graduates?

On November 6th, 2006, Bermuda Union of Teachers President Lisa Trott was quoted as follows

Ms Trott said a true graduation rate would show

how many students began school in Senior One and how many left with a BSC from Senior Four.She said: “We need to know the numbers in terms of retention and to see how many students are spending six years rather than four years at senior school level.

Where are these numbers?

This shows that the central rot at the Dept of Education continues despite the recent reports. These statistics do not appear to be frank nor honest.