Baltimore City and Baltimore County public schools both have made significant strides in improving graduation rates over the last few years while also lowering dropout rates, according to a report released Tuesday by the Maryland Department of Education.
Overall, Maryland students set a record for high school graduation in 2013, according to newly released statewide data, posting an 84.97 percent mark for the class of 2013, up from 83.57 from last year.
In Baltimore City, the four-year graduation rate for the class of 2013 was 68.5 percent, a large step up from the 61.5 percent four-year graduation rate for the class of 2010.
Similarly, Baltimore County's four-year graduation rates made progress, reaching 83.8 percent for the class of 2013—up from the class of 2010's 81.4 percent figure.
Not unrelated, the dropout rate for Baltimore City schools fell from 23.8 percent for the class of 2010 to 12.1 percent for the class of 2013. "More telling than the reduction in dropout rate is the reduction in the actual number of students dropping out of school," Baltimore City Public Schools wrote in a press release. "1,530 members of the class of 2010 dropped out of school, compared to 726 members of the class of 2013. This represents a 52.5 percent decrease, and an unequivocal change in direction for the district."
Baltimore County’s dropout rate fell from 11 percent for the class of 2012 to 9.7 percent for the class of 2013.
"Last year, we talked about accelerating the progress we have made in raising our graduation rate," said Baltimore County Public Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance, named one of the nation's top "tech savvy" educators yesterday by eSchool News. “To do that, we introduced credit recovery programs such as AdvancePath, supports for students in danger of dropping out, and online learning to keep students engaged and in school."
The data from the Maryland Department of Education showed improvement "across the board" for the class of 2013. From the Maryland Department of Education's website:
- —Hispanic student graduation rate jumped from 72.51 percent in 2012 to 75.08 percent last year
- —African American student graduation jumped from 76.50 percent in 2012 to 78.26 percent.
- —Asian student graduation increased from 93.44 percent to 95 percent.
- —White student graduation improved from 90.49 percent to 91.11 percent.
- —Special education student graduation jumped by more than 2.5 percentage points – from 57.41 percent to 60.03 percent.
The entire 2013 Maryland report card can be found here.