FALMOUTH — The latest reported graduation rate for Falmouth High School is wrong because local school administrators submitted inaccurate information to the Maine Department of Education, according to state and local officials.

Falmouth High School’s graduation rate in 2008-09 was 89.71 percent – a drop of nearly eight points from 97.42 percent in 2007-08, according to statewide figures released last month.

In fact, the high school’s graduation rate fell only 3.41 points, according to state and local officials.

Falmouth Superintendent Barbara Powers said her district made errors in reporting graduation data under a new formula adopted by the state Education Department.

“We take responsibility,” Powers said today. “We have to know better how to (account for) kids under this new method.”

Powers submitted corrected data and state officials recalculated Falmouth’s graduation rate, resulting in an actual graduation rate of 94.01 percent, according to a letter from Angela Faherty, Maine’s acting commissioner of education.

However, the lower graduation rate will remain on state and federal records because it has already been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, Faherty said.

She noted that the state held special training sessions on how to use the new formula, extended the reporting deadline to Dec. 31, 2009, and continued to work with districts to correct errors after that date.

Faherty also noted that Falmouth’s reported graduation rate of 89.71 percent is high enough that it won’t hurt the town’s chances of getting state or federal funding in the future.



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