In September 2006 – in the throes of a significant dropout problem — the State Board of Education adopted the goal that 100 percent of students in North Carolina should graduate from high school. It was bold statement at the time, especially in a state where the four- year graduation rate was 68.3 percent.
Now almost a dozen years later, what has changed? Well for starteers a lot. North Carolina’s four-year graduation rate is a much better 86.5 percent.
While we should celebrate the progress, it is tempered two disturbing facts: 1) less than one-third of those who took all the ACT subtests met benchmarks in all four subject tests and 2) only 34 percent of Local Education Agencies (LEAs) met or exceeded the 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate which had been revised to a more realistic 89 percent established under the State’s Race to the Top(RttT) guidelines.
Yes, there has been progress, but clearly more needs to be done to ensure a diploma from a North Carolina high school ensures all graduates are college or career ready.
To access the State Board of Education’s Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate report and graduation rates for all LEAs see here.