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Despite Increased Graduation Rate County Schools Fall Behind

The four-year graduation rate for Prince George's County Public Schools is falling behind state and national averages.

The four-year graduation rate for Prince George's County Public Schools is falling behind state and national averages. File|Patch
The four-year graduation rate for Prince George's County Public Schools is falling behind state and national averages. File|Patch

While graduation rates increased in Prince George’s County high schools in 2013, the district lags behind both state and national averages.

According to data released earlier this year from the Maryland State Department of Education, the four-year graduation rate for Prince George’s County Public Schools has risen 1.25 percentage points, moving from 72.87 to 74.12 percent, Patch earlier reported.

But a Washington Post story says the percentage of county students who graduated on time in 2013 — 74.1 percent — was lower than the 76.2 percent rate in 2010. Prince George’s County is 10 percentage points behind the Maryland statewide average. In 2012, average U.S. graduation rates rose to 80 percent.

The largest gains came in the county’s alternative schools, vocational schools and among students with limited English language skills the school system said. Bowie High School had the sixth-biggest increase in the graduation rate.

“We’re behind,” county schools chief executive officer Kevin M. Maxwell told The Post. “There’s not a question that we’re behind.”

Graduation rates rose in nearly all student subgroups, with the highest increases made by students with limited English proficiency – which rose by 5.57 percentage points – and Hispanic/Latino students, whose rate rose by 3.56 percentage points. 

District leaders told the newspaper the school system has to focus on ways to boost retention and graduation rates for students whom come from poor families and speak limited English.

While the graduation rate for the county’s Hispanic students increased last year, the rate falls nearly 20 percentage points behind the national average and 14 percentage points behind the county’s overall average, the Post reports.

To view data for any district or school in Maryland, visit the 2013 Maryland Report Card website at www.mdreportcard.org.

>>>To read the full Washington Post story click here.

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