Students in Maryland high schools are graduating at record high rate, according to newly released statewide data.
The four-year cohort graduation rate reached 83.57 percent for the class of 2012 — students who entered school in the fall of 2008 — compared to 82.82 percent in 2011. The new rate represents a jump of nearly a full percentage point. At the same time, the four-year cohort dropout rate fell statewide from 11.22 percent in 2011 to 10.28 percent in 2012.
“Because of the better choices we’ve made together, Maryland’s public schools have been certified as number one in the nation five years in row,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Thanks to our dedicated educators, students and parents, our high school students are graduating at a higher rate now than ever before. Together, we’re building state-of-the-art classrooms, creating innovative curricula, and preparing our students for the jobs of tomorrow. The more students that graduate, the stronger our economy will be and the better our future together.”
State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery agreed that a better graduation rate establishes the foundation for continued success.
“Our primary goal as educators is to prepare students for college and career. The first step in that critical effort is to make certain our students receive their high school diplomas,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery. “We are not satisfied with the graduation numbers, but the new data indicates we are on the right road.”