Talk about feeling a major sense of pride. Sure, our state has its troubles with money and politics, but our education always shines a bright light on our strengths. And, as it turns out, our graduation rates continue to go on the up and up.
Fairfield Daily Voice reports that we continue to remain one of the nation’s most educated states. It goes just beyond our quality school districts and reforms.
It all comes down to how many kids complete high school. And the amount continues to grow each year.
Last year, our graduation rates reached 87.9 percent, the highest in history. This is also the 7th straight year since these rates began increasing.
Governor Malloy broke the news in Bridgeport. He chose that location because Wilbur Cross HS saw the third largest increase in their rates this year. 81.3 percent of their student body attained their diplomas last spring.
In 2013, that number was 64.3 percent.
The number of graduating Latino and black students in the state increased, too. In addition, the state also recorded an increase in students who learned English as a second language.
Commissioner of Education Dianna R. Wentzel marveled over the recent report:
“The fact that more young people than ever before are earning high school diplomas is a testament to the hard work and commitment of so many teachers, principals, superintendents, community partners, elected leaders, and of course our parents and students.”
Also, both the DOE and Malloy touched upon the success of one of the state’s education programs. The state’s Alliance District program also saw major improvements this year. Graduation rates reached 80.5 percent this year.
In 2017, that number was 71.2.
Alliance Districts are the states 33 lowest performing districts. Those within the program see an additional share of Education Cost Sharing funding.
Even better, the Educational Reform Districts, a concentrated group of the state’s lowest performing districts, also saw improvement. They reported a 12.1 uptick in their rates since 2011.
Meaning, 75.7 percent of their student body earned diplomas last spring.
So, despite our issues, this is a great strength our state has to offer. For kids to succeed, they need a high school diploma or GED to find a quality job. More and more employers express a desire for an educated workforce.
So, for kids to get ahead, they need to graduate. And, apparently, it’s easy to do in Connecticut. As it should be.