MCPS Graduation Rate Remains High; Outperforms State

September 30, 2011
  The graduation rate for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students remains strong and is higher than the rest of the state, regardless of the formula used to calculate it.
  The Maryland State Department of Education calculated the graduation rate using two different formulas this year as part of the annual Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report for high schools. The graduation rate was calculated using the “leaver rate,” which has been used for the past decade, and the new “cohort rate,” which is being used for the first time.
  Under the leaver rate, the graduation rate for the class of 2011 was 90.7 percent, slightly higher than 2010 (90.1 percent) and higher than the state’s 2011 leaver rate (87 percent).
  Using the new formula, MCPS’ four-year cohort graduation rate, is 86.2 percent, more than four points higher than the state’s four-year rate (82 percent). The five-year cohort graduation rate for MCPS is 88.9 percent, also more than four points higher than the state’s five-year rate (84.6 percent). The cohort rates were calculated using data from the class of 2010.
  “However you calculate the graduation rate, Montgomery County is doing well and is outperforming public schools across the state,” said Christopher S. Barclay, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “However, we will not be satisfied until every student in our schools is graduating on time and ready for college and the careers of the 21
st century.”
  The state’s AYP report is required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act and judges high schools based on their performance on the state High School Assessments (HSA) and the school’s graduation rate. In 2010-2011, there were 12 MCPS high schools that did not make AYP. Six of the schools were identified as being in need of “local attention” and six were identified for the more serious “school improvement” process.  
  Changing NCLB has been the subject of much debate over the past several months and the state of Maryland has indicated it will join many other states in seeking a waiver from the sanctions of NCLB for this school year. Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr said the federal law needs to be changed.
  “We are not afraid of accountability and certainly we know there is room for improvement in all of our schools,” Dr. Starr said. “But, like many others, I am concerned about basing accountability on the results of a single assessment."
  "It is important to collect and analyze data from multiple sources and use that information as part of a comprehensive approach to improving schools,” Dr. Starr continued. 
  Sixteen of MCPS’ 25 high schools saw an increase in their 2011 graduation rate (using the leaver formula). The biggest increases were at Watkins Mill High School (+3.7 percentage points), James Hubert Blake High School (+2.5 points) and Richard Montgomery High School (+2.1 points). 

More information:
- Final AYP Determinations
- Graduation Rates (Cohort and Leaver)
- Definition of Leaver, Four-year Cohort and Five-year Cohort graduation rate formulas

<<Back to browse