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State High School Graduation Rate Sets Another New Record

Dropout Rate Dips to New Low

BALTIMORE – The percentage of Maryland students receiving a high school diplomas has never been higher, according to data released today by the Maryland State Department of Education. Moreover, as the graduation rates set new records, the dropout rate has fallen to an all-time low.

The four-year cohort graduation rate reached 87.61 percent in 2016 — nearly 6 points better than the 82 percent rate registered in 2010. The graduation rate jumped .6 percentage points over 2015, from 86.98 percent.

“The new data is great news for Maryland, as the high school diploma is the important first step of a successful journey,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “We continue to strengthen our standards and our classrooms to better prepare each student for employment or additional education.”

Also released was the five-year cohort graduation rate–the percentage of students who graduate in five years–and that hit 89.11 percent. As graduation rates have improved, the dropout rate dipped below 8 percent for the first time — hitting 7.97 percent.

Most student subgroups saw improvement in four-year graduation rates between 2015 and 2016, although gaps in the numbers persist:

• Four-year cohort graduation rates for African American, American Indian, Asian, and White students all improved. Rates for Hispanic, Hawaiian, and students of two or more races fell slightly.

• The graduation rate for African American students has jumped from 76.09 in 2010 to 84.06 percent in 2016.

• The graduation rate for Hispanic students dipped by .34 percentage points between 2015 and 2016, but has improved by nearly 5 percentage points since 2011, from 71.7 percent to 76.55 percent.

• Among students receiving special services, the four-year cohort graduation rate rose in two of three categories. Specifically, both special education students and students receiving free or reduced price meals improved, while the percentage of English language learners graduating fell slightly.

Maryland seven years ago moved to the cohort graduation rate, which follows a set group of students from freshman year through their senior year. The four-year cohort graduation rate has improved every year since.

The new high school and system data will be available on the updated website today.