NEWS RELEASES 2010-11 :: AUGUST 5, 2010


Trend lines for both North Carolina's high schools' four- and five-year state Cohort Graduation Rates continued their upward progress in 2010 with 74.2 percent of high school students graduating in four years and 74.7 percent of students graduating in five years. The most recent Cohort Gradation Rates were presented to State Board of Education members at their monthly Board meeting as part of the 2009-10 ABCs/AYP Accountability Report.

The rate has improved each year since 2006 when North Carolina reported its first measurement of a cohort graduation rate and is up from 2009 when it was 71.8 percent for four years and 72.9 percent for five years.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said she was pleased with the overall progress schools are making and is committed to ensuring that trend continues. "Addressing North Carolina's graduation rate continues to be one of my top priorities. A high school diploma is essential to a student's future success," she said. "It is imperative that we all work together - educators, parents and the community - to deliver the message to students that graduation is important and that we will provide them with the support they need to finish high school." Atkinson added that she remains concerned about the graduation rates of male students and other subgroups with low graduation rates.

Graduation rates for all students and subgroups are as follows. The 2009 Cohort Graduation Rates are in parenthesis.

All Students 74.2 (71.8)
Male 69.6 (67.1)
Female 78.9 (76.6)
American Indian 67.9 (60.0)
Asian 85.2 (83.7)
Black 66.9 (63.2)
Hispanic 61.4 (59.0)
Multi-Racial 71.2 (71.5)
White 79.6 (77.7)
Economically Disadvantaged 66.3 (61.8)
Limited English Proficient 48.3 (52.1)
Students with Disabilities 57.5 (56.8)

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison encouraged local school districts to continue to think outside the box for ways they can help students to graduate from high school. "There are a lot of best practices out there to help students succeed in high school. However, we must constantly work together to evaluate and share new ways to reach students because not all methods will work with all students," Harrison said.

Since the fall of 2002, local school districts have been accounting for each ninth grader as he or she moves through high school. This record-keeping provides the state with an accurate count of how many students graduate with a diploma in four years. Because some students may need a fifth year in order to earn their high school diploma, a five-year cohort graduation rate also is recorded.

North Carolina was one of the first states to comply with the National Governors Association Compact, a plan begun in 2005 by the nation's governors to implement a common formula to calculate each state's graduation rate.

For more information, please contact the NCDPI Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.