Md. graduation rates up, dropout rates down, say new data from the state

More Maryland high school students are graduating and fewer are dropping out of college, according to a new report from the state.

Maryland recently released graduation data showing that the graduation rate increased nearly a percentage point for the class of 2012 compared to the previous year’s students, rising to 83.5 percent from 82.8 percent. The dropout rate decreased from 11.2 percent in 2011 to 10.3 percent in 2012, a drop of nearly a percentage point.

The numbers are part of a general upward trend for the state, which reported that about 80 percent of its students graduated in 2009.

In Montgomery County, the graduation rate increased to 87.4 percent for 2012 compared to about 86.8 percent in 2011. The rate dropped in Prince George’s County, going from 74.63 percent in 2011 to 72.87 in 2012.

The graduation rates are calculated by tracking students from the time they enter ninth grade to when they leave 12th grade.

Graduation rate increases in Maryland also reflect rising rates nationwide, based on federal data released in January. Maryland and Virginia had graduation rates higher than the national average of 78 percent for the class of 2010, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Lynh Bui is a Prince George's County public safety reporter and former Montgomery County education reporter.

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