Differing Data: High School Graduation Rates

A recent report from the State Department of Education sheds little light on Connecticut graduation rates.

Hall Graduates in 2013
Hall Graduates in 2013

Data from the State Department of Education has re-sparked an ongoing controversy over graduation rates in Connecticut High Schools.

75.1 percent of Connecticut high school graduates will complete the four-year program and complete their degrees, down from 82.2 percent in 2011, according to America's Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation. Connecticut is ranked 40th out of the 50 US states for high school graduation rates. 

Between Hartford, West Hartford, and East Hartford, students are doing a little better: the average graduation rate at high schools in the area is 76 percent, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education, but The Public School Review holds the graduation rate for high schools in the West Hartford school district at 92 percent. 

Such seemingly contradictory statistics abound. The National Center for Education Statistics holds Connecticut's graduation rate at 78.6 percent, but its most recent data is from 2011. GradNation, a campaign to relieve the stigma facing students who do not complete high school, lists the graduation rate from 2012 at an optimistic 85 percent. 

Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor stated that the graduation gap between black and white students is closing, although a sizeable gap still remains. According to Pryor, the difference has been reduced by 4.3 points, or 21 percent, since 2010. 

Pryor also congratulated himself and the state on gains made by Latino/Latina students and economically disadvantaged students. Conard High School in states that 40.9% of its students are minorities - or identify as Black, Latino, biracial, or Asian. Hall High School lists 35% of such students. 

Hall also lists 16 percent economically disadvantaged students to Conard's 24 percent, according to US News and World Report. 

Both Conard and Hall High School's graduations are set for Tuesday, June 17. 


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