BY ZACHARY MATSON
NISKAYUNA — A data-reporting error created the appearance of a five-point dip in the Niskayuna School District’s graduation rate released earlier this month, when actually the rate dropped just one percentage point.
The numbers originally submitted by school officials to the state for 2015 were 310 graduates out of 345 students, for a 90 percent graduation rate. After the data correction, the figures were 312 out of 333, or 94 percent.
Niskayuna school officials failed to exclude 10 students who had left the district from its class size of 333 and also included a student in the wrong cohort year. That student was part of the 2012 freshman class, not the 2011 class.
Also, two students who had graduated in June were left in a “still enrolled” category, and one student who was reported as a dropout actually had transferred to a different district.
“It was a simple error in the process,” Niskayuna Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. said Monday. He called it a “clerical error,” adding that district officials were using it as an opportunity to “tighten up” their data-reporting procedures. He said, however, that he has the final responsibility for making sure the data reports are accurate.