By Carrie Lynch
Holt Journal staff reporter
There are many more high school diplomas around Delhi Township than there used to be.
Statistics found from the Delhi Charter Township website show that 63.5 percent of the residents living there in 1970 over the age of 25 had a high school diploma. In 2000, that number had jumped to 90.1 percent, an almost 30 percentage point increase in graduation rates over those 30 years.
According to Delhi Township Supervisor C.J. Davis, a general increase in education levels across the nation is a key component of why more students are graduating.
Davis said this is mainly due to the general increase of education in the nation. “Schools are more strict than they were in the ’70s, and they do more of a followup,” said Davis.
Davis said it wasn’t imperative for someone to graduate to still make a career for themselves. “Lets face it, in the ’70s, you could drop out of high school, work in a GM plant and do really well for yourself,” he said.
“If people are dropping out now they’re just going to end up working at McDonald’s,” said Davis.
Holt Public Schools Superintendent David Hornak emphasized that the increase of graduation rates is due to focusing on each child as an individual, verses the class as a whole.
“Were doing more assessing so we know exactly what kids know and what they need to know,” said Hornak. “Starting with the end in mind, we build backwards and really try to close those learning gaps.”
Hornak believes that schools are now doing a better job of closing those learning gaps, and as a result, has a more educated society.
Julie Warren, a Holt resident and Holt High School graduate, currently has two children in the district and has noticed a difference in the education levels from when she attended.
“I think the schools here really try to prepare the kids for a bright futures, which I know I will be very grateful for when I have to send my kids off to college,” said Warren. “I never had the opportunity to go to college, and at the time there was no pressure to go either.”
According to statistics from the National Center for Education, in 1970, 75.4 percent of United States residents, over the age of 25, had a high school diploma. Thirty years later, 88.1 percent of the United States residents, over the age of 25, had a high school diploma. This data is very similar to the data of Delhi Township.
Although an overall increase in the quality of education is definitely a factor, Davis said that Delhi is also unique when it comes to the relationship between the schools and the board.
The relationship between the schools and the board are different than most municipalities, said Davis.
“We have a very interesting arrangement. One of the most interesting things I learned about Delhi when I just started to work as the town supervisor was that we share our facilities with our schools. If we need to use a facility for one of our township things, we just trade them,” said Davis.
This agreement saves the school money in the long run, which they can put towards educational improvements for the benefits of their students and teachers.
Delhi Township is very aware of their budget and keeping down their expenses, which is crucial when they are trying to keep their education as cutting edge as possible.
“People have always tried to work together in Delhi. They just were looking into what works, and this did,” said Davis.