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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
8:09 AM Mon, Sept. 24th

Blog: Why is enrollment down?

Courier illustration

Courier illustration

Problem: Student enrollment in Chino Valley Unified School District's schools, as of Aug. 31, is down 164 students, for a decrease of 5.9 percent. "(It is) the largest decline amongst the four school districts in the area," Superintendent Duane Noggle said.

Where did they go? Noggle said the records show 43 students left to attend local charter schools, while 17 are in online schools and 63 went to neighboring districts. An additional 41 students moved out of the area without the district receiving any requests for records.

Why? Is it the marketing programs, such as the one Prescott schools have done for years? Is it the charter schools?

Noggle told his school board this week: "The public doesn't know charter schools don't have to have certified teachers. We need to do a better job in advertising and educating parents."

Consider, though, Arizona ranks very low in the nation - some say 49th in "spending" while others say 49th or 50th in "quality" of education, depending on what aspects, years or tests you examine, and who or which entity is doing the analysis.

On the flip side, Arizona also leads the nation in "innovation," according to trade/industry journals and statistics, regarding charter schools. At a minimum, we are near the top of the list because of how many we have.

And, online schools - high schools and universities - are emerging at breakneck speed.

Actually, I think it's the Chino Valley schools' move to a four-day week or their now-lower standard of what constitutes a passing grade.

What do you think?