The Texas high school on-time graduation rate climbed to an all-time high, reaching 85.9 percent for the Class of 2011, which is 1.6 percentage points higher than the previous record set by the Class of 2010, the Texas Education Agency announced today.
More than 92 percent of the 319,588 students in the Class of 2011 either graduated in four years or continued high school for a fifth year. An additional 1.1 percent of the students in this group earned a GED, which is a high school equivalency certificate.
“Raising graduation rates is a key priority and it’s thanks to the hard work and dedication of the students, teachers, parents and administrators that the state of Texas has seen an all-time high in our graduation rate,” said Todd Webster, chief deputy commissioner of TEA. “This class was expected to meet higher graduation requirements than any class before it. This group of students not only rose to the challenge but they raised the bar,” he said.
The Class of 2011 was the first group required to meet the “four-by-four” graduation requirements of the Recommended Graduation Program or the Distinguished Achievement Program. Under these diploma plans, each student is required to earn four credits in each of the four core areas of mathematics, science, social studies and English, along with other required and elective courses for a total of 26 credits. The students were also required to pass the exit-level Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) in order to graduate.
About 82 percent of the students in this class graduated under one of these two college-prep diploma plans, while the remaining graduates met the requirements of the 22-credit Minimum High School Program. The four-year graduation rate is based on the definition created by the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics and is now used by all states.
Across racial or ethnic groups, Asian students in Texas had the highest graduation rate at 95.0 percent. This is the first year that data for this growing student group had been calculated as a separate category.
Key graduation rate statistics at a glance for other student groups:
• White – 92.0 percent, up from 91.6 percent in 2010.
• Hispanics – 81.8 percent, up from 78.8 percent in 2010.
• African Americans – 80.9 percent, up from 78.8 percent in 2010.
• Female – 88.2 percent, up from 86.5 percent in 2010.
• Male – 83.7 percent, up from 82.1 percent in 2010.
Among the Class of 2010, 84.3 percent graduated in four years. Within five years after this group of students entered high school, the rate had risen to 88.0 percent as more students completed high school.
The study called the Secondary School Completion and Dropouts in Texas Public Schools 2010-2011 is available on the TEA website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/acctres/dropcomp_index.html .
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