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Monday, June 6, 2016

I Screw Up. And Admit It!

Well, do I feel embarrassed. A couple weeks ago, I posted that the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow failed to graduate more students than all other Ohio school districts combined.

Well, that was wrong.

See, the problem was with Excel's autosum feature. It's supposed to add all numbers in a column so you don't have to scroll through all the cells to figure out which cells you want to add. Trouble is, if there isn't a number in the cell, it will stop at that cell. So, for example, if you want to add all the numbers of students who were eligible to graduate high school in Ohio, but one school district (Put-in-Bay, I'm looking at you) didn't have any, the Ohio Department of Education puts an NC in that cell. Then autosum won't include any numbers above that cell.

Most Excel pros know to double check autosum for this reason. And I do all the time, but for whatever reason, even though it was telling me only 25,000 or so students were eligible to graduate from all Ohio high schools last year -- a number that is obviously low -- I just went with autosum.

Dumb.

Anyway, here are the real figures: There were 121,275 students eligible to graduate from all of Ohio's school districts last year. Of those, 108,373 did graduate. That means 12,902 did not.

ECOT failed to graduate 2,918 students. So they failed to graduate nearly 1/4 of the total of all who failed to graduate from Ohio's school districts. While remaining troubling and awful (and still more than any other single school in the nation), that's not more than all districts combined.

So I apologize to my readers for getting that wrong. I try not to make mistakes here. So far, this, I believe, is the only data error I've reported in this blog's 5-year history.

So I am sorry.

Oh, and thank you to Howard Fleeter -- Ohio's great school data guru -- who caught the problem. I am in his debt.

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