An open letter on graduation rates

Minister Horton,

The following is an open letter which I have posted on my blog ( and copied to both The Royal Gazette and the Bermuda Sun.

I am writing to express my confusion at the latest release of graduation rate statistics.  Unfortunately the quoted 22% jump is not clear to me as it is accompanied by a 31% drop in enrollment levels.  This leads me to wonder how graduation rates are calculated and whether or not dropouts are included in the calculation. 

Back in January, it was suggested in an article in The Royal Gazette that the way graduation rate statistics are calculated has been changed.

“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. “

Could you please clarify for me the definition of those who are enrolled in the BSC programme and how the graduation rate is calculated for each school?  My understanding is that the new way of calculating measures students who enter Senior Four and leave with a BSC while discounting those who transferred to other schools or left the island.  However, this method would not yield accurate numbers for how many students entered Senior One, compared to how many left with a BSC four years later.  Thus, the statistics for those who did not progress through Senior One through Four are lost which makes an accurate measure of the number of individuals who dropped out difficult to ascertain.

Would you be so kind as to provide me a breakdown of how graduation rates are presently calculated along with dropout statistics and enrollment levels for Seniors One through Four?

Thank you kindly,

Denis Pitcher

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Estimated expenditure for 2006/2007 on EDUCATION at 132,000,000.00 that is one hundred and thirty two million dollars. That is for the PUBLIC schools. Now that is so little money for so little students them poor “LAZY” education dept and teachers.Ah what a shame,some of them public schools are down to (12) to a class. Not like them private schools with 35 to 45 a class.where the parents are double taxed. Dont worry they will shuffel the numbers around again for you,so that they suit. and all the children will still not get an education. and black children will be screwed… Read more »

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