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Texas graduation rate reaches all-time high

MGN
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 10:51am

Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced today that the Texas high school on-time graduation rate has set another all-time high, reaching 88 percent for the Class of 2013.

The graduation rate for the Class of 2013 is 0.3 percentage points higher than the previous record set by the Class of 2012 and marks the sixth consecutive year the rate has increased.

CLASS YEAR GRADUATION RATE

  • Class of 2013 88.0 percent
  • Class of 2012 87.7 percent
  • Class of 2011 85.9 percent
  • Class of 2010 84.3 percent
  • Class of 2009 80.6 percent
  • Class of 2008 79.1 percent
  • Class of 2007 78.0 percent

Out of 328,584 students in the Class of 2013 Grade 9 cohort, 88 percent graduated. An additional 4.6 percent of students in the Class of 2013 continued in high school the fall after their anticipated graduation date and 0.8 percent went on to receive GED certificates.

“The Class of 2013 continues an ongoing trend of success in the classroom which has translated into more high school diplomas,” said Commissioner Williams. “With additional flexibility now provided to school districts, we should expect graduation numbers to remain strong with all students better prepared for life after high school in college, the workplace or military.”

The latest graduation figures are among the findings highlighted in the Texas Education Agency’s report, Secondary School Completion and Dropouts in Texas Public Schools, 2012-13. Other notable graduation findings from the report include:

  • Across racial/ethnic groups, the graduation rate for the Class of 2013 reflects all-time highs for Hispanic (85.1 percent) and African-American (84.1 percent) students.
  • Asian students in Texas had the highest graduation rate (93.8 percent) in the Class of 2013 Grade 9 cohort.
  • White students posted the second highest graduation rate (93 percent).
  • Females in the Class of 2013 Grade 9 cohort had a higher graduation rate (90.3 percent) than males (85.9 percent).
  • The graduation rate for economically disadvantaged students in the Class of 2013 Grade 9 cohort was 85.2 percent, an increase of 0.1 percentage points over the Class of 2012. In comparison, the graduation rate for economically disadvantaged students in the Class of 2007 Grade 9 cohort was 68.8 percent.

Commissioner Williams noted that Texas has seen graduation rates increase steadily for African-American, Hispanic and white students since the Class of 2007. During that time, the graduation rate difference between white students and African-American and Hispanic students has narrowed – but a gap still exists.

“As a state, we continue making progress in our shared goal of educating every student,” said Commissioner Williams. “While the graduation trend continues to be strong, these figures also tell us there is still more work to do in closing the achievement gap.”

The U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the federal entity with primary responsibility for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the United States. In 2003, the 78th Texas Legislature passed legislation requiring dropout rates be computed according to the NCES dropout definition.

A dropout is defined as a student who is enrolled in public school in Grades 7-12, does not return to public school the following fall, is not expelled, and does not: graduate, receive a GED certificate, continue school outside the public school system, begin college, or die.

The Texas Education Agency report shows that the longitudinal dropout rate for the Class of 2013 Grade 9 cohort was 6.6 percent, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from the Class of 2012, with the rate for Asian students at 3.0 percent, white students at 3.5 percent, Hispanic students at 8.2 percent and African-American students at 9.9 percent.

Out of 2,189,442 students who attended Grades 7-12 in Texas public schools during the 2012-13 school year, 1.6 percent were reported to have dropped out that year, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points from 2011-12.

Other dropout findings from the report include:

  • For the 2012-2013 school year, the number of dropouts in Grades 7-12 decreased to 34,696, a 4.4 percent decrease from the 36,276 students who dropped out in 2011-2012.
  • A total of 3,187 students dropped out of Grades 7-8, and 31,509 dropped out of Grades 9-12. The Grade 7-8 and Grade 9-12 annual dropout rates were 0.4 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
  • Across racial/ethnic groups, the 2012-2013 Grade 7-12 dropout rates showed Asian students at 0.6 percent, white students at 0.8 percent, Hispanic students at 2.0 percent and African-American students at 2.3 percent.
  • The Grade 7-12 dropout rate for males (1.8 percent) exceeded the rate for females (1.3 percent) in 2012-2013. More males dropped out from Grade 9 (5,029) than from any other grade. By contrast, more females dropped out from Grade 12 (4,161) than from any other grade.

To read the complete Secondary School Completion and Dropouts in Texas Public Schools 2012-13 report, visit the TEA website at www.tea.state.tx.us.  

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