By Paige Wester
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter
According to Public School Review, Grand Ledge can’t get any better at graduating its high school students.
The Web site reports that the graduation rate at Grand Ledge High School is a perfect 100 percent.
Steve Stoll, a Grand Ledge resident, said that the schools here are such a huge focal point of this town.
“With Grand Ledge being such a small town, we as parents really get involved with our kids schooling and athletics,” Stoll said. “I always know what is happening with most of the kids because all of the parents are friends as well.”
Stoll, who has had two kids graduate from Grand Ledge High School recently, has seen the success and the few failures the school has had in the last decade. He said parents are constantly pushing their kids to be the best and trying to hold them to a higher standard than the surrounding schools in the area.
“With a smaller community, it is easier to keep an eye on the kids and watch who is going down the right or wrong path,” Stoll said. “When we see certain kids choosing a bad path we know immediately and are able to try and fix the problem compared to a larger school where some kids can just fly under the radar.”
However, according to David Perry, a former professor of education from Indiana University Northwest, there are many factors that make up high and low high school graduation rates.
Perry said that living in a smaller community could definitely benefit students and better graduation rates because you can get more attention as a student, but there are other important issues you need to look into.
“The community’s diversity and ethnic background play a huge role in graduation rates among high school students,” Perry said. “Predominately white community’s have a higher graduation rate compared to community’s that are more diverse.”
According to Schools in Eaton County, 63.7 percent of students are white and 36.3 percent are minorities. In Grand Ledge only 13 percent of the student body is minority.
“Like I said, diversity in a community unfortunately plays a huge role in high or low graduation rates,” said Perry. “It honestly all depends on where you live and how you grow up.”
According to statistics, Grand Ledge has stayed pretty consistent with their high graduation rates over the years.
Since 2003, graduation rates have been above average compared to the Michigan high school average.
Stacy Babcock, a resident of Grand Ledge, said that they are extremely proud of the high standards they have for their students.
“We want to challenge our students to be the best they can because eventually they will be working citizens and contributing to society,” said Babcock. “We show them the right direction to go in order to succeed.”
Babcock has watched many kids graduate and that is something to be extremely proud of as a community. “We have had years where we have had a 100 percent graduation rate and that isn’t seen often,” Babcock said. “We prove that small towns kids can make a big impact on the world.”