Site showing Maine graduation rates off to rocky start

Posted Aug. 03, 2010, at 3:30 p.m.

Note: As of Wednesday morning, the center seems to have corrected its data.

BANGOR, Maine — A conservative think tank has unveiled an updated education website to include test score and graduation rate data for every school district in Maine.

But the data appears to be incorrect. The site lists Casco Bay High School, in Portland, with the lowest graduation rate that year — 39 percent, according to the site’s data. However, state data lists the 2008-2009 graduation rate as 81.82 percent. Checking other graduation rates against state-provided data produced similar disparities.

Stephen Bowen, the center’s director of education, said Tuesday afternoon the data came directly from the state, but was altered by the time it got onto the center’s website.

“Obviously, we should have double-checked it before we went live with it,” Bowen said.

The Maine Heritage Policy Center created its education website, GreatSchoolsForME.org, earlier this year. The site showed spending and performance data for every Maine school and district.

This article has been updated to reflect the errors in the center’s data.

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