Four of 10 students who entered Watertown High School as freshmen in 2007 did not graduate four years later, according to the state Education Department.
Watertown High had the lowest graduation rate in the north country last year 61.1 percent. That falls far below the statewide rate for 2011 74 percent and contrasts with other large districts in Northern New York, most of whom posted substantially higher graduation rates.
Is the Watertown rate due to more students transferring out of the district? Records should indicate so much if that is the case.
Or are 40 percent of students simply dropping out? Again, what do the districts records show?
Something is amiss, and the districts Board of Education should get focused on the problem. So far, the board has failed to provide leadership on this very important issue.
If the citys public high school is only graduating six of 10 students in a normal four-year period, something is drastically wrong.
If the districts record-keeping is the problem, that needs to be corrected.
The board also must deal with the leadership at the high school where its principal dropped out of the school every day to go home to Liverpool. The board should have known that a long-distance principal does not help keep students in school.
The board must get to the bottom of the issue, find out what is wrong and propose solutions.
City taxpayers need some answers on why the graduation rate for 2011 is so appallingly low.