August 6, 2013
MCPS has one of the highest graduation rates among the nation’s largest school districts, according to a national report released June 6.
The 2013 Diplomas Count report, published by Education Week, has calculated the MCPS graduation rate at 84 percent, tied for second among the nation’s 50 largest districts. The MCPS graduation rate—calculated using 2010 data—is significantly higher than the rate for the state of Maryland (78.6 percent) and the nation (74.7 percent).
“The results of this year’s Diplomas Count report are another indicator of our ongoing commitment to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful,” said Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr. “While MCPS is doing better than most of our peer districts, we know there is work left to be done to make sure every student graduates on time and is ready for college and the work place.”
For the past four consecutive years, MCPS has had the highest graduation rate among the nation’s largest districts in this report. This year, MCPS is one point behind Fairfax County Public Schools and is tied with Baltimore County Public Schools.
Education Week uses the most recent Common Core of Data available from the National Center for Education Statistics to calculate graduation rates. This year’s report uses data from the 2009-2010 school year.
The publication employs the Cumulative Promotion Index—or CPI—to calculate a graduation rate that is comparable from state to state and district to district. However, the CPI is significantly different than the four-year Adjusted Cohort Rate, which the state of Maryland uses to calculate the district’s official graduation rate. The 2010 state-calculated four-year graduation rate for MCPS was 86.15 percent. Over the past two years, this graduation rate for MCPS has risen to 87.4 percent.
The 2010 graduation rate calculated by Education Week is 3.4 percentage points lower than last year’s report. A state-calculated Cohort graduation rate is not available for 2009, but using the state of Maryland’s previous graduation rate calculation—the Leaver rate—the MCPS graduation rate showed an increase from 87.4 percent in 2009 to 90 percent in 2010.
“It is disappointing that we are not first on this list, but we are pleased to be among the nation’s highest performing large districts and I am confident our graduation rate is headed in the right direction.” Dr. Starr said. “We will use the results from Diplomas Count, along with other data, to inform conversations about how we serve and support students and improve teaching and learning.”