The four-year graduation rate for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has risen to 89.8 percent, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) on January 24, 2017. The MCPS graduation rate rose by 0.4 percentage points, a slight increase from the previous year and has risen 1.5 percentage points over the past three years.
The MCPS graduation rate for the class of 2016 is 2.2 percentage points higher than the rate for the state of Maryland.
“The increase in the MCPS graduation rate is encouraging and is an indicator that the district’s initiatives, programs and efforts are working,” said Board of Education President Michael Durso. “Our work will not be complete until 100 percent of our students graduate with the skills and knowledge they will need to thrive in their future.”
MSDE calculates the graduation rate using the “cohort” calculation, which is considered more accurate than the state’s previous calculation using the “leaver” rate.
The four-year graduation rate has improved for nearly all major student subgroups in MCPS. For instance, the MCPS graduation rate for African American students rose to 87.7, a one-year increase of 0.9 percentage points and a three-year increase of 3.8 points. The graduation rate for MCPS Hispanic students rose to 80.4 percent, a one-year increase of 0.8 percentage points and a three-year increase of 2.9 points.
“We have made progress in our efforts to narrow achievement gaps, but there is still much work to be done to ensure all of our students graduate on time ready for college and the work force,” said Superintendent Jack Smith. “While graduation is the final milestone, our work to provide students with supports and address their individual needs begins at the elementary level.”
The gap in graduation rates between African American and Caucasian students has narrowed by 3 percentage points over the past three years. The gap between Hispanic and Caucasian students has narrowed by 2.1 percentage points.
The graduation rate for MCPS students who receive special education services and Free and Reduced-price Meals (FARMS) also continues to improve. For special education students, the graduation rate is 72.0 percent, up 4.5 points from 2013. For students receiving FARMS, the graduation rate is 82.9, up 4.8 points over the last three years.
Twelve of the school system’s 25 high schools saw a one-year increase in the graduation rates, and 14 high schools saw a three-year increase. Among the highlights of school performance:
-The MCPS high schools with the biggest one-year gain in graduation rates are Rockville (up 4.0 percentage points), Sherwood (2.9 points), Richard Montgomery (2.7), Springbrook (2.5 points), and Gaithersburg (2.5 points).
-The MCPS high schools with the biggest three-year gain in graduation rates are Wheaton (up 13.6 percentage points), Albert Einstein (5.0 points), Richard Montgomery (4.5 points), and Watkins Mill (3.5 points).
-The MCPS high schools with the highest graduation rates are Thomas S. Wootton (98.1 percent), Poolesville (97.4 percent), Winston Churchill (96.5 percent), and Walt Whitman (96.1).