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Gov. Malloy: Graduation Rates Continue to Climb

(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Interim Commissioner of Education Dianna R. Wentzell, today announced that graduation rates continue to climb as persistent graduation gaps continue to close. In 2014, the statewide graduation rate increased 1.5 points to 87.0 percent-up for a total 5.2 points since 2010.
"A high school diploma sets students on a path towards brighter futures and lifelong success. With graduation rates rising and hard-to-close gaps declining, we are improving lives - now and in the long-term. We have supported our students, teachers, and schools, and we're seeing the benefits," Governor Malloy said. "When it comes to our schools, we're making smart decisions today for a brighter tomorrow. I would like to thank those who helped make these impressive results possible - all of our teachers, principals, educators, and superintendents."
In 2014, black, Hispanic, and free-or-reduced-price-lunch-eligible students continued to substantially outpace the statewide average yearly increase at 2.9 points, 3.8 points, and 3.8 points, respectively. Over the last four years, graduation rates increased by nearly 10 points for black students, by 10 points for Hispanic students, and by 13.2 points for low-income students.
"Graduation from high school is a culmination of years of hard work, growth, and development," said Interim Commissioner Wentzell. "Connecticut students and teachers continue to reach higher, push forward, and, as a result, graduation rates continue to increase and gaps are closing."
Through the Alliance District program, the State provides increased funding tied to greater accountability for the 30 lowest performing school districts. During the past three years, over $250 million has been invested into the Alliance Districts to help them strengthen their schools and improve outcomes for students.
The Educational Reform Districts[1], a subset of the Alliance Districts and among the 10 lowest performing in the state, showed a 2.5-point gain as compared with 2013. New Haven Public Schools, an educational reform district, increased 13 points since 2010 to a 75.5 percent graduation rate in 2014.
"New Haven's graduation rate has risen for the sixth year in a row, a testament to the hard work and collaboration of the many partners who work inside and outside the classroom to keep our students on the path to success. At New Haven Academy and across the district, students are engaged in their own futures," said New Haven Superintendent Garth Harries. "I thank Governor Malloy, Mayor Harp and all the educators, parents and partners who continue to play a role in preparing our students for success in college, career and life."
Schools and districts across the state continued to improve and strengthen supports for all students. In Fairfield, graduation rates increased 1.2 points in 2014 to 93.8 percent.
"I am pleased that the hard work of our high school teachers, guidance counselors and school leaders has led to an increase in our four-year graduation rate," said Superintendent David Title. "In partnership with parents and students, our staff is dedicated to ensuring that every student in Fairfield meets our high standards for graduation."
Graduation rates are calculated according to the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate method, which the National Governors Association developed and is considered to be the most precise method. These rates represent the percentage of first-time ninth-grade students who graduated with a regular high school diploma in four years or less. It is based on individual student-level data, excludes ninth-grade repeaters, late graduates, and accounts for transfers in and out of the graduating class over the four-year period.

  2015.03.18 grad rates 1

Source: Public School Information System

  • With the exception of the 2014 cohort count column, which is a count of students, all remaining columns represent percentages. Row percentages may not add up to 100 percent because of rounding.
  • A student is included in the ELL, special education, or free/reduced lunch subgroup, or any combination of them, if he or she was reported in that subgroup in at least one of the Public School Information System data collections over the course of his or her high school career.
  • In reporting race/ethnicity, the student's last reported category is used.
  • Special Education students who are still in school after four years but have earned the academic credits to graduate are included in the "still enrolled" column for this calculation.
  • The Cohort Count is as of the end of the 2013-14 school year.
  • Four-Year Graduation Rate is the percentage of students who received a standard diploma within four years including early and summer graduates from the cohort.
  • Still Enrolled means students were still in school after four years.
  • Other category includes students who dropped out (including those who enrolled in an adult education program), or transferred to postsecondary education, or transferred to another school district but never enrolled in that district, or have an unknown status.
    Four-year cohort graduation rates by state, district and school are available on the State Department of Education's website.

Graduation Rate Gaps Among Student Groups

  2015.03.18 grad rates 2

The graduation rate gap between black students and white students decreased to a 13.6-point gap-down from 20 points in 2010. Overall, the gap has decreased 6.4 points since 2010. That's a gap closure of 31.8 percent.

2015.03.18 grad rates 3

The graduation rate gap between Hispanic students and white students decreased to an 18.3-point gap-down from 24.7 points in 2010. Overall, the gap decreased 6.4 points since 2010. That's a gap closure of 26.1 percent.

2015.03.18 grad rates 4

Using free and reduced-priced meal eligibility as an indicator of family wealth, the graduation rate gap between low-income students and their more affluent peers decreased to a 17.9-point gap-down from 25.7 points in 2010. Overall, the gap decreased by 7.8 points since 2010. That's a gap closure of 30.2 percent.
While the increases among the graduation rates for students from subgroups are encouraging, significant gaps remain. Specifically, among black students and Hispanic students eligible for free lunch, there are substantial differences in graduation rates between males and females.

2015.03.18 grad rates 5

Though the graduation rates for our most economically disadvantaged black and Hispanic males remain among the lowest rates, both groups have made gains in two years. Black males eligible for free lunch are up for a total of 9.6 points since 2012. Hispanic males eligible for free lunch are up for a total of 8.4 points since 2012.
Methodology and Documentation
For complete documentation regarding the cohort graduation rate, please see
The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) introduced the four-year cohort graduation rate with the graduating class of 2009. This approach was created when Connecticut and 49 other states signed an agreement with the National Governors Association to develop a uniform system for tracking students. The four-year cohort graduation rate is calculated by tracking an individual cohort, or group of students, from their initial entrance into Grade 9 through to graduation. The four-year cohort graduation rate represents the percentage of students who earn a standard high school diploma within four years. The calculation uses individual student-level data from the state's Public School Information System (PSIS) that school districts submitted and superintendents certified

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