Graduation Rate Inches Up in Delaware

June 9th, 2011

Category: News

Delaware’s graduation rate inched up to 67.6%* in 2008, up from 65.0% in 2007, according to Education Week’s recently released Diploma’s Count 2011 – behind the national average of 71.7%.

Over the past ten years, Delaware has seen its graduation rate climb 8.8 percentage points, which is surpassed by only six states (Tennessee had the highest climb at 20 percentage points). While this increase is laudable, our graduation rate still places us 37th nationally and almost 20 percentage points behind New Jersey (86.9%).

Below are a couple of interesting bits from the report:

  • Asian-Americans in Delaware had the highest graduation rate at 78.1% compared to Hispanics, which had the lowest rate of 57.9%;
  • If current trends hold, Delaware will fail to graduate 3,475 students from the 2007-2008 freshman class (1.2 million will fail to graduate nationally); and
  • Delaware is one of 17 states that do not define college and/or work readiness – which means students might earn a diploma but not truly be ready for life after high school.

Across Delaware, the state, districts, and schools are working vigorously to enact policies and practices that will encourage a greater percentage of students to graduate high school ready for college and/or career. The Rodel Foundation hopes to work with stakeholders to help our state reach out Race to the Top goal of 87% by doing our part, whether it is showing educators what’s possible or bringing national best practices to the state, to continue our upward trajectory of providing all students access to an excellent education.

* The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) releases a graduation rate report using several measurements. The Diplomas Count report uses promotion power, which calculates the graduation rate by dividing the number of 12th graders in a school compared to the number of 9th graders in the same school three years earlier, while the DDOE utilizes the National Governor’s Association (NGA) graduation rate. The Race to the Top goal noted above will be measured using the NGA rate.

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Brett Turner



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