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'Coding error' corrected at Morrow High

By Greg Gelpi

A "coding error," which caused Morrow High School not to be recognized as making Adequate Yearly Progress, has been corrected.

The Clayton County school system appealed the decision to the state Department of Education and recently learned of the state's decision to accept the appeal.

The Georgia Department of Education ruled that Morrow High School did indeed make Adequate Yearly Progress based on standards set forth by the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

School spokeswoman Camille Barbee Olmstead explained that students who transferred out of Morrow High School were incorrectly listed as having dropped out of school. Upon further inspection, school officials discovered the error and successfully appealed to the state to award AYP to Morrow High School. Schools are penalized for not graduating the required number of students.

"There were actually some students who had withdrawn from Morrow and enrolled at other schools, but were not coded as having withdrawn," Olmstead said.

According to a letter sent to Clayton County schools Superintendent Barbara Pulliam by State Superintendent of Education Kathy Cox, Morrow High School made AYP after an apparent coding error was corrected. The school was found to have successfully graduated the required number students in 2004.

In the summer, school officials learned that Morrow High failed to make AYP based solely on its graduation rate. High schools must meet benchmark requirements in the number of students it tests as well as the number of students that it graduates to be considered as making AYP.

"We are pleased to be able to grant the appeal, as two graduates, now coded correctly, are included in the graduation class size calculation," Cox said in a letter dated Nov. 1 to the school system. "Additionally, the number of dropouts has been recalculated."

Morrow High made AYP last year as well.

"I am ecstatic that this error has been rectified and now Morrow High can join the ranks of those schools that have made AYP," Pulliam said.