Graduation rate up, gaps closing

From the Department of Public Instruction

GraduationThe class of 2014 had a statewide graduation rate of 88.6 percent, up 0.6 points from the prior year and 2.9 points from the 2009-10 school year. The four-year graduation rate, based on a uniform federal standard, includes all students who earned a regular public high school diploma.

Wisconsin also calculates five-year and six-year graduation rates to account for students who, by state and federal law, have additional time to complete their high school education. For the 2013-14 school year, the five-year graduation rate was 91.3 percent and the six-year rate, 91.5 percent. Both were up from the prior year.

“I am so proud of our students,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “High school graduation is an important milestone for individuals and their families and advances our Agenda 2017 priority. We want every child to graduate with the knowledge and skills needed for college and careers. This data shows we are moving in the right direction.”

The public high school class of 2014 included 58,588 students who graduated in four years out of a cohort of 66,098. Data shows closing gaps in graduation rates between 2009-10 and 2013-14 for students across all racial and ethnic groups as well as for students with disabilities and those from economically disadvantaged families. While closing, gaps in graduation rates remain large.

“Our students need secure options for completing their high school education and moving on to college and careers,” Evers said. “The conflicts over school operations and funding take a toll when they diminish opportunities for our kids. We have an obligation to fund our public schools so we have staff to provide support inside and outside of the classroom, special programming for students who struggle, and enrichment opportunities for those who need additional challenges.”

This is the second year the Department of Public Instruction is reporting graduation rates through the Wisconsin Information System for Education Dashboard Public Portal (WISEdash). Under the federal graduation rate definition, each student is assigned to a cohort when entering high school, the 2010-11 school year for the class of 2014. The cohort is adjusted for students who transfer to another state or nonpublic school, emigrate to another country, or die during the timeframe. The graduation rate is based on students who earn a regular high school diploma.

Included with this data upload is current postsecondary outcomes from the National Student Clearinghouse. For students who completed public high school in the 2013-14 school year, 59.3 percent enrolled in a college or university in fall 2014. Of the 36,410 public school students who continued their studies after high school, most went to a four-year college or university. About one-third (32.8 percent) went to a two-year postsecondary institution. Four out of five students went to a public college or university after high school. Unlike graduation data, which is not changed once certified, postsecondary outcome data is updated twice a year.

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