Montgomery graduation rate rises slightly -- Gazette.Net







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This story was corrected at 6:15 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2013. An explanation follows the story.

Montgomery County Public Schools’ four-year graduation rate rose slightly from the class of 2011 to the class of 2012, according to Maryland State Department of Education data released Wednesday.

About 87.4 percent of students in the class of 2012 graduated after four years of high school, which is 3.8 percentage points higher than the 2012 state graduation rate.

The school system saw a similar increase from the class of 2010 to the class of 2011.

The school system’s five-year graduation rate increased 0.8 percentage points to 90.2 percent, while its dropout rate decreased slightly, from 7.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Four-year graduation rates rose to varying degrees across the school system’s major student groups.

African-American students’ rate rose about 1 percentage point, to 82.3 percent, and Hispanic students’ rate rose about 1.4 percentage points.

With white students’ graduation rate staying about the same, the gaps between African-American students and white students and between Hispanic students and white students closed slightly.

Over the past two years, the gap between African-American and white students decreased by about 3.9 percentage points; the gap between Hispanic and white students decreased by about 2.1 percentage points.

Superintendent Joshua P. Starr said in a school system news release that more African-African and Hispanic students are “graduating on time.”

“While there are still significant gaps in performance, it is encouraging to see that those gaps have narrowed in the past couple of years,” Starr said in the release. “We must focus on meeting the individual needs of our students if we are going to continue to see this type of progress in the years to come.”

Among the other changes: The graduation rate of students who receive free and reduced-price meals rose about 1.4 percentage points, to 76.7 percent. Limited English proficient students’ rate rose about 3.9 percentage points, to 53.1 percent.

Special education students’ rate stayed about the same.

Of the school system’s 25 high schools, 12 schools’ graduation rates increased from the class of 2011 to the class of 2012 and 17 schools’ rates increased from the class of 2010 to the class of 2012.

The top five graduation rate increases from 2011 to 2012 were at Walter Johnson, Rockville, Col. Zadok Magruder, Seneca Valley and Wheaton high schools.

An earier version of this story had an incorrect percentage for the county’s five-year graduation rate.