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05/02/2017

Gov. Malloy Announces Six-Year High School Graduation Rate Reaches Historic High, Graduation Gaps Closing

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and State Department of Education (SDE) Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell today announced that the six-year high school graduation rate increased over four consecutive years, reaching an all-time high of 90.5 percent for the 2013-14 cohort. The release of the data comes on the heels of the announcement last month that the state reached an all-time high four-year graduation rate in 2016 of 87.4 percent – significantly higher than the national average of 83.2 percent.

The six-year graduation rate measures the percentage of first time ninth grade students who received a standard high school diploma within six years, including early and summer graduates. The six-year rate is included as an indicator in Connecticut’s Next Generation Accountability System, along with the four-year graduation rate. The six-year graduation rate is considered a more complete reflection of the successes of all students, especially English learners, students with disabilities, and students from low-income families, because some of them benefit from extra time to graduate.

“These figures tell us that more students are staying in school and learning what they need to know to succeed in high school and beyond,” Governor Malloy said. “I am proud of our students and teachers across the state who are working hard every day to make Connecticut’s future even brighter. We are graduating more students now than ever before and equipping them with the education they need to pursue their goals and achieve successful, fulfilling careers. Our ongoing investment in education will ensure that Connecticut’s students continue to make progress and attain a high-quality education.”

“Higher graduation rates, Improving test scores, and a narrowing achievement gap all signal continued strong progress on education and, in the long-term, workforce development,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “I applaud Governor Malloy, Commissioner Wentzell, and educators across Connecticut for their commitment to our students and our future. This is very good news.”

“This is great news for Connecticut,” Commissioner Wentzell said. “The six-year graduation rate is an important indicator that gives credit for students who stay in school, work hard to overcome challenges, and achieve success. The fact that the rate has increased for four consecutive cohorts is a strong sign that we are making progress toward our goal of equity for Connecticut students. I am proud of and inspired by our educators’ commitment to ensuring our students are graduating from high school ready for college and career.”

High-needs students, a group comprised of all students from low-income families, English language learners, and students with disabilities, experienced the largest increase in six-year graduation rates over four years. From the 2010-11 cohort to the 2013-14 cohort, the six-year graduation rate for high needs students increased 9.9 percentage points from 72.1 percent to 82 percent – a 13.7 percent increase. Students eligible for free or reduced price lunch increased 12.9 percentage points during the same time period with rates rising from 66.2 percent to 79.1 percent – a 19.5 percent increase. English language learners and students receiving special education services experienced more modest improvements.

Connecticut Graduates

Six-Year Graduation Rate by Year

Category

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

All Students

86.2

88.1

88.7

90.5

Black

76.9

78.7

80.8

84.5

Hispanic

69.5

74.3

75.8

79.3

Asian

94.3

95.0

96.1

95.9

White

91.9

93.4

93.5

94.7

Two or More Races

N/A

87.1

87.6

88.2

Female

88.4

90.6

90.9

92.7

Male

84.1

85.6

86.6

88.4

High Needs

72.1

77.6

78.6

82.0

Non-High Needs

96.8

96.7

97.1

97.9

English Learners

66.0

71.4

72.3

70.8

Special Education

73.5

75.3

75.4

78.0

Eligible for Free Lunch

66.2

72.7

74.4

79.1

Eligible for Reduced Lunch

83.1

87.8

88.3

91.7

Graduation rates for black and Hispanic students also increased during the same period. Black students experienced a 7.6 point increase to 84.5 percent, and Hispanic students experienced a 9.8-point increase to 79.3 percent. The gap between black and Hispanic students and their white peers decreased by 4.8 percentage points and 7 percentage points, respectively.

Despite these gains, gaps between these subgroups and their peers persist. For example, at 79.3 percent, the graduation rate for Hispanic students was 15.4 percentage points lower than the rate for white students, and at 84.5 percent, the graduation rate for black students was 10.2 percentage points lower. The graduation rate gaps for English learners and students with disabilities were even greater.

“While we are encouraged by gains in our four and six-year graduation rates, we also know we have more work to do to accelerate the pace of change and deliver on our promise of a high-quality education that prepares all students for success beyond high school,” Commissioner Wentzell said. “Including the six-year graduation rate in the Accountability System is one additional way that we measure our success toward that goal.”

Detailed results by district, school, and student group is available on the State Department of Education’s data portal EdSight. Visit the SDE website for more information about the Next Generation Accountability System.

**Download: Complete documentation regarding the cohort graduation rate

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