State: Grad rates up, dropout rates down


LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — More students are graduating in Michigan as fewer of them drop out of school. Both rates improved by about one percent in the last school year. ​

Graduation rates last year were 80.64 percent, they rose to 81.41 percent. It’s less than one percent increase but state officials say it represents a huge difference for hundreds of high school students crossing the stage on graduation day.

​The Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information calculates graduation rates by tracking enrollment records of individual students from the time they first enroll as ninth graders. This method, along with concerted efforts by the CEPI, school administrators and intermediate school district auditors, accounts for every student. 

Four-year graduation rates are a school’s accountability measure adopted by the state, and the methodology for calculating rates is aligned with the National Governors Association Graduation Counts Compact.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer applauded the development represented this year, saying her administration continues to work hard to ensure students and educators have all the resources they need to continue this period of growth.

Zooming out to a four-year window, the growth is even more significant. Graduation rates in Michigan have been on the rise increasing by 1.62 percentage points. According to the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information, the state has experienced growth in key areas eight out of the last ten years.

Michigan’s 2019 graduation rates hit an all-time high, the state says this period of growth is extremely crucial especially for minority students. The graduation rate of African American students was 70.23 percent in 2018-19, continuing a steady growth of nearly three percent from 2014-2015. ​

The rate for Hispanic students rose two percent in that time; and for multiracial students the rate was 76.16 percent, up nearly two percent during the same window.

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