A growing number of Virginia students are staying in school and graduating on time.
Virginia’s on-time high school graduation rate rose one point this year to 86.6 percent, and the statewide dropout rate fell one point to 7.2 percent, according to data reported today by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
In addition, 55 percent of the diplomas earned by 2011 graduates were Advanced Studies Diplomas.
"A one-point increase in the graduation rate means that nearly 1,000 more young Virginians are beginning their adult lives with the diploma they need to pursue further education and training or an entry-level job," Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said in a press release. "The progress our schools have made in raising graduation rates is due the efforts of hundreds of teachers, counselors, principals and other educators across the commonwealth who refused to give up on even the most challenging students."
The graduation rates of African-American and Hispanic students continued to improve. The rate for black students increased 1.4 points to 80.3 percent, and on-time graduation for Hispanic students increased 3 points to 79.1 percent.
An on-time graduation rate is the percentage of students who were first-time ninth graders during the 2007-2008 school year and earned a diploma within four years.
The on-time graduation rate for African-American students has risen 6.3 points, and the rate for Hispanic students has risen by 7.9 points since 2008, the first year VDOE reported cohort graduation rates.