This Advocate reader takes exception with the headline in the Sunday, July 16, article concerning the state graduation rate in Louisiana.
The headline states "High school graduation target still elusive" with the subtitle noting "State law sought 80 percent by '14."
Although both statements are factually correct, the real story is much further down in the news piece. "Louisiana's graduation rate has risen by 9.8 percentage points since 2010, compared with 4.8 percentage points nationally." This means that our state is not only improving but improving faster than the national average.
To this reader, that is the headline. That is the story. Further in the story, the superintendent of the DeSoto Parish school system near Shreveport said his graduation "rate was in the 70s five years ago, compared with 94.2 percent today." Additionally, the news article notes that Louisiana has a large number of students attending private and parochial schools (second in the nation). This group of presumably successful graduation rates are not measured and thus skews some of the statistics against the state.
I have no doubt that the 80 percent success rate will be achieved in the near future. Our state superintendent and those supporting his efforts on education reform will succeed despite some pushback from the entrenched teacher union leadership.
Education in Louisiana has a bright future given our current path.
Regretfully, the headline on the article dampens this well-earned right to be exuberant. I hope in the future, the editorial staff will be more careful in placing headlines on news stories.
John S. White