Crime, annual dropout rate down in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Crime, annual dropout rate down in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

An annual report to state lawmakers shows crime and dropout rates in schools statewide, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. For the 2011-2012 school year, both numbers are down.

CRIME DATA

The 2011-2012 Consolidated Data Report also contains data about short- and long-term suspensions and expulsions statewide and by district.

"We're pleased to see our rate declining in high schools but we won't be satisfied until it's at zero for all schools," said Dr. Heath E. Morrison, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. "We want our schools to continue to be safe places that are conducive to learning, and we will continue looking at ways to increase safety at schools."

Overall in CMS, the rate and the number of reportable acts increased for all schools in 2012, rising to 1,552, or 11.33 per thousand from 1,494, or 11.10 per thousand, in 2011.

However, for high schools only, there were 541 such reportable acts in 2011-2012, down from 641 a year earlier. The rate per 1,000 students for high schools also declined to 14.58 from 16.89 a year earlier. It was the third consecutive year of declines in both number and rate for CMS at high schools.

Statewide, the total number of reportable acts of crime and violence declined by 4.3 percent in 2011-2012 to 11,161 from 11,657 a year earlier. The rate of acts per 1,000 students also decreased by five percent, falling to 7.63 in 2011-2012 from 8.03 a year earlier. Schools are required to report 16 offenses that occur on campus or school property, including illegal possession of controlled substances or alcoholic beverages, weapons, assaults, rapes and homicide.

To see the full 2011-2012 Consolidated Data Report, click here.

DROPOUT RATE DATA

The 2011-2012 Consolidated Data Report also contains data about short- and long-term suspensions and expulsions statewide and by district.

For Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, 3.20 percent of students dropped out, down from 3.57 a year earlier. Statewide, 3.01 percent of high school students dropped out of school, according to the report.

These numbers reflect only the students who dropped out during the 2011-2012 school year.

For a more complete picture of dropouts and graduates, CMS and North Carolina also calculate the cohort graduation rate.

This rate follows a group of ninth graders for four years and reports the percentage of these students who graduate four years after they begin high school.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools had a four-year cohort graduation rate of 75.1 in 2012; North Carolina high schools reported a record-high 80.4 percent four-year cohort graduation rate.

"We have focused our efforts on keeping students in school and we'll continue to do so," said Dr. Heath E. Morrison, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. "It's so important to get our students through high school with a post-secondary plan and we'll continue to make this a primary district focus."

In CMS, suspensions increased for the third year in a row, while expulsions declined. There were 37,464 short-term suspensions in CMS in 2011-2012, compared to 35,393 a year earlier and 33,589 in 2009-2010. Long-term suspensions declined to 88 from 137 a year earlier. There were no expulsions in 2011-2012, compared to five for 2010-2011.

The report also shows that suspensions – both short- and long-term – declined statewide. The number of out-of-school short-term suspensions (one to 10 days) given to students decreased 3.1 percent -- from a 2010-11 total of 266,488 to 258,197 in 2011-12.

The number of long-term suspensions (11 or more days) decreased 38.6 percent from 2,621 to 1,609 for the same period. For high schools (grades nine through 12), there were 127,223 short-term suspensions reported statewide in 2011-12, a decrease of 2.0 percent from the 2010-11 total of 129,817.

The short-term suspension rate was 3.01 suspensions per 10 students. Long-term suspensions (11 days or more) declined among students in all grades by 38.6 percent to 1,609 in 2011-2012 from 2,621 in 2010-2011.9. For high school students, it declined 34.6 percent.

Expulsions declined by 56.5 percent to 30 in 2011-2012 from 69 a year earlier.

To see the full 2011-2012 Consolidated Data Report, click here.

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