The percentage of dropouts is declining.
Baltimore, Md (KM) High school graduation rates are up, while dropout rates are down in Maryland. According to the State Department of Education, the four-year cohort graduation rate in 2016 was 87.61%, which is six points up from 82% in 2010, and a jump of .6% over 2015, which was 86.98%.
Cohort graduation is where state follows a group of students from their freshman year through their senior year.
MSDE also says dropout rates decreased below 8% last year, at 7.97%.
Bill Reinhard, a spokesman for MSDE, says the current high school graduation rate is just under 88%, which is a new record in Maryland. “We’ve haven’t ever hit that number in the state, and we’re pretty excited about it,” he says
“The more students that get a diploma, the more qualified folks there are in the workforce, the better off they are when they look for education beyond high school,” he says.
MSDE says graduation rates for students in most ethnic and racial groups have gone up. It says graduation rates for African-American, American Indian, Asian and White students improved. But rates for Hispanic, Hawaiian and students of two or more races fell slightly.
The agency says African-American graduation rates jumped from 76.09% in 2010 to 84.06% in 2016.
The Hispanic graduation rate went down slightly by .34% between 2015 and 2016. But it improved by nearly 5% since 2011, from 71.7% to 76.55%, according to figures released by MSDE.
“I think long term trends are good throughout the state and throughout racial subgroups,” says Reinhard.
He says these impressive numbers when it comes to graduation prove that students and their families take education very seriously. “We think students see the importance of an education increasingly because let’s face it: there aren’t that many jobs that don’t require some skills,” says Reinhard.
By Kevin McManus