Voices from the Idaho EdNews Community

Blaine County superintendent gives his perspective on go-on rates

Several years ago, the “Go On Rate” data captured our attention in McCall-Donnelly.  The numbers simply didn’t add up.  We had a small graduating class and knew each of the students very well.  We knew where they were going and had celebrated their acceptance and enrollment in colleges and universities.  We then looked closely at the data from the graduating classes of 2017 and 2018.  The “Go On Rate” data from 2017 indicated that we had 49% of our students enrolled in accredited colleges or universities, yet our own data indicated that 58% were going on to higher education opportunities.

The 2018 data was similar.  “Go On Rate” data indicated 46% had enrolled and yet our own data showed that 57% were enrolled in accredited colleges or universities.  Somewhere between high school and higher education, the true data isn’t be captured and reported accurately.  But that’s not the only issue.

“Go On Rate” data is a very specific definition.  It is limited to those students who are enrolled in colleges or universities that are accredited.  The list of opportunities that are not included is long!  This list includes, but is not limited to:  enlistment in the armed forces, the Idaho Lineman’s College, several private culinary institutions, participation on a mission for a student’s church and private non-accredited colleges and universities.

We recognize that public schools need to be held accountable for their outcomes and to some extent, the opportunities that students have after high school.  However, if we are going to be held accountable for an expectation, we hope that the expectation is first and foremost based on accurate data and secondly, captures our goal.  Our goal is for all students who are capable to become contributing members of our communities.  The “Go On Rate” expectation is, and has not been, an expectation that meets those standards.

Here’s our article on the most recent go-on rate data. 


Jim Foudy

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