) That's up about a half point from the previous year.The graduation rate was cited at 76.1%, a seven point increase from the 2014-2015 rate.East High's overall academic performance has been dismal for many years.
"The plight of East High is larger than what is in those four walls. I have sort of, and I'll discuss it later, a plan to look at what those scaffolding things should look like, you know, within the community because we can't do it by ourselves.I can have all the ideas in the world, but there is some work that has to be done but I don't think it belongs to us as educators alone." East High has not been isolated and alone in its efforts in recent years.The East High Alumni Page has focused on the ACT scores as the one consistent and comparable measure of academic performance for many years and believes it to be the best measurement available.Barrett was appointed Executive Principal February 20 to lead East High into its transition into an admission-by-application-only optional (magnet) school using the transportation industry as a focus for a science, technology, engineering, and math oriented curriculum, or T-STEM for short.For the past school year, 2015-2016, the average composite ACT score at East was 15.7.
(For those who are more familiar with the ACT before 1989 when it changed, the 15.7 score is roughly equivalent to a composite ACT score on the old test of 12.
Despite her relating to the children as people instead of numbers, Barrett admits, "There's a lot of work to be done but I can't forget we're talking about people and we're talking about a community." The new leader at East High hopes to take a broader approach to education than just East High and Maxine Smith STEAM Academy.
Barrett says she has a four pronged plan to reach out beyond the school, a plan she said she would reveal at a later date. I think the work that needs to be done is work that has to occur outside the four walls.
"I'm over at the school [East High] almost every day and I look at the kids and that's what it's about, it's about children.
And while the data is scary, while the numbers, we could talk about the graduation rate, the literacy and the math, that doesn't tell the picture," according to Barrett.
Those experiences are what make me forget about the data and just see the children as children...