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SCHOOL STATISTICS CAN BE MISLEADING

A Feb. 11 News editorial reported that fewer than 50 percent of seniors at Riverside Institute of Technology passed the new state Education Department math requirement needed to graduate. As the guidance counselor for all seniors at Riverside, I can prove, with documentation, that this statistic is inaccurate.

To set the record straight, we have 103 seniors and 19 of them still need the math requirement to graduate. This is about 19 percent, much less than the figure cited. The News got its statistics from the state Education Department, but the following factors need to be taken into account:

The statistics do not account for summer school results and January exam challenges. This alone will have a significant impact.

The statistics are for the cohort of students who entered Riverside in 1997. Twenty-four of these students are no longer at Riverside and are now the statistical responsibility of the schools they are enrolled in.

The statistics are usually inaccurate due to computer-input errors and updated records not having been recorded, which are received from other schools when students transfer.

The state Education Department always gives each school the opportunity to correct these inaccuracies. I only wish The News would do the same.

RANDY MULDROW
Buffalo

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