Graduation Rate in Boston Public Schools Rises to All-Time High

Data shows credit recovery initiative having positive impact on students’ chances of graduating on time.


Editor's note: This is press release from BPS.

Data released on Wednesday by Boston Public Schools (BPS) show the district’s four-year graduation rate continues to climb to a record high. Of the students who entered high school in the 2007/2008 school year 64.4% graduated within four years. This 2011 data is an increase of 1.2 percentage points from 2010 and more than six percentage points since 2007. The data also show the district’s graduation rate is six percentage points higher as a result of credit recovery initiative. 
“This is positive news, and it shows that the quality of our schools is continuing to improve,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “We’re seeing more and more of our high schools outperform other districts across the state, indicating that our efforts are having a real impact.”
“For us, this annual release of data is about more than just numbers – we’re talking about young adults and their future,” said Superintendent Carol R. Johnson. “While we are certainly pleased to see the graduation rate climb to an all-time high we refuse to stop working on strategies that will help the students who did not cross the graduation stage. We’re proud that our credit recovery work is having a real impact.”
While BPS reports the graduation rate as calculated by state education officials, it uses a different formula to calculate the dropout rate. State data show the BPS dropout rate dropping from 6.8% to 6.4%. BPS calculates the dropout rate as rising from 5.7% to 6.0%. 
According to the new numbers, ten Boston high schools have exceeded the district’s 2014 Acceleration Agenda goal of a graduation rate of at least 80%. One Boston High School, Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, has a graduation rate of 100%. Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, TechBoston Academy, John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science, New Mission High School, Boston Community Leadership Academy, Boston Arts Academy, Media/Technology High (now West Roxbury Academy), and Fenway High School all have graduations rates greater than 82%. 
The district also saw a jump in the 5-year graduation rate. Of students who entered high school in 2006, 68.8% graduated in 5-years. 
At the core of the Acceleration Agenda is a commitment to closing achievement gaps. The new data indicate a jump in the graduation rate for almost every ethnic group. Black students increased from 60.6% to 62.3%. White students increased from 74.4% to 76.6% and Hispanic students increased from 56.8% to 57.4%. Asian students saw a slight decrease from 81.6% to 80.4%. 
Of the high school seniors who did not graduate last year, 17% remained in school. BPS has invested in initiatives to keep off-track students in school even if they did not meet all graduation requirements in their senior year. Last August, nearly 200 students took part in the city’s annual summer graduation. Most of the graduates had participated in credit recovery courses over the summer that made it possible for them to fulfill the graduation requirements. 
BPS continues to focus on supporting students on the verge of dropping out through dropout prevention initiatives and partnerships, as well as credit recovery programs throughout the school district. BPS, in conjunction with the office of Mayor Menino, is also supporting students beyond high school graduation. In 2008, Mayor Menino launched Success Boston, an initiative aimed at dramatically increasing the number of BPS students completing college. 
For more detailed and school level information visit www.bostonpublicschools.org/reports


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