Boston schools show improvement in four-year high school graduation rate
BOSTON – Boston’s public high schools have outpaced state gains in the percentage of students earning a high school diploma. A report released yesterday by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education indicates that 59.9% of members of the Class of 2008 graduated from the Boston Public Schools four years after entering ninth grade, up from 57.9% among the Class of 2007.
This increase of two percentage points exceeds average statewide gains of 0.3 percentage points over last year. Among the members of the Class of 2008, another 15% who did not graduate in four years are still enrolled in school and may graduate in five or more years.
In addition, the report highlights notable four-year graduation gains among particular subgroups of Boston students, including:
· Black students, up 5.4 percentage points;
· Male students, up 3.9 percentage points;
· English Language Learners, up 6.2 percentage points;
· Special education students, up 1.1 percentage points;
· Students from low-income households, up 1.2 percentage points.
Fourteen of the 36 Boston public high schools included in the study exceeded the overall district rate, including ten schools with four-year graduation rates higher than 75%.
[See the report below for details about all schools’ and student subgroups’ performance.]
Dr. Carol R. Johnson said, “We are very proud of these results, which are a testament to the hard work and dedication of students, educators, and parents. Together, we are moving closer to our goal of eliminating the dropout rate, and ensuring that every student graduates from high school with the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and beyond.”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino said, “Over the past decade, we have made tremendous investments in Boston’s public high schools, and these gains demonstrate that the investments are paying off. More and more of our students are meeting higher standards and earning a high school diploma, ready to achieve their dreams.”
Dr. Johnson highlighted several schools with double-digit increases over last year in the percentage of students graduating in four years:
· Another Course to College in Brighton, up 11.9 percentage points;
· Boston Adult Technical Academy in Roxbury, up 14.3 percentage points.
· Boston Day and Evening Academy in Roxbury, up 14.2 percentage points;
· TechBoston Academy in Dorchester, up 11.3 percentage points;
· The Engineering School in Hyde Park, up 19.2 percentage points; and
· Urban Science Academy in West Roxbury, up 14.4 percentage points.
The four-year graduation rate is one of the measures used to determine whether or not a public high school in Massachusetts achieves Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind law.
Superintendent Johnson has made “Graduation for All” one of the cornerstones of her Acceleration Agenda to transform the Boston Public Schools. She has established annual goals to improve the graduation rate, as well as investment in academic priorities for dropout prevention and recovery, including:
· A Transition / Truancy Center to help students get back on track after chronic absence or having dropped out;
· Newcomers Academy for students who arrive in this country during the school year, with little or no formal school in their home country;
· Credit Recovery programs during the summer and school year, which last summer enabled more than 120 additional members of the Class of 2008 earn a diploma in August; and
· More rigorous courses, particularly Advanced Placement classes, to keep students challenged and engaged in every high school.
Dr. Johnson stated that these strategies are designed to support students at greatest risk of not graduating. She noted particular concern that four-year graduation rates for Hispanic students in Boston dropped slightly, from 51% last year to 50.4% this year, consistent with a statewide decline among this subgroup.
Rev. Gregory G. Groover, Sr., Chairperson of the Boston School Committee, affirmed the district’s commitment to closing achievement gaps and improving graduation rates.
“Even in these challenging economic times, we cannot retreat on our work to prepare every student to walk across the stage in cap and gown,” said Rev. Groover. “Now, more than ever, we must put our young men and women on a strong path to a bright future full of opportunity.”
|BPS four-year graduation rate 2008.pdf||61.35 KB|