Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) continued to surpass the state four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2012, and the district saw significant improvement in the graduation rate for several racial and ethnic student groups, students who receive free and reduced-price meals, and those who receive special education services, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education.
AACPS’ four-year graduation rate – measured by the percentage of students who receive diplomas four years after entering high school, rose nearly 2 percentage points, from 83.73 percent to 85.41 percent, compared to the Class of 2011. The AACPS rate is more than 1.8 points higher than the state rate of 83.57 percent.
Across the school system, the biggest gains came in the percentage of students receiving free and reduced-price meals (4.7 points) and special education services (4.5 points). The graduation rate for Hispanic students rose by 2.6 points, and the rate for African-American students rose nearly 2.5 points. For white students, the graduation rate rose nearly 1.6 points.
“This data reflects the progress of our continuing efforts to close gaps wherever they exist and help every single one of our students reach the finish line and hold a high school diploma in their hands,” Interim Superintendent Mamie J. Perkins said. “Our goal – and it should be the goal of every school system – is to graduate 100 percent of our students, and we continue to work very hard to reach that standard.”
MSDE also calculates a five-year graduation rate for schools and school systems. AACPS’ five-year graduation rate for the Class of 2012 was 87.66 percent, more than 1.3 points higher than the state rate of 86.32 percent.
HIGH SCHOOL ASSESSMENT
Students graduating from AACPS in 2013 were required to pass three high school assessments (HSAs) or meet other alternate benchmarks in order to earn their diploma. More than 95 percent of the members of the Class of 2013 met that standard either by passing all three exams or achieving the requisite combined score, 5 points higher than the Maryland rate. An additional 4.6 percent of students completed a Bridge Plan project in order to graduate. No child in AACPS required a state waiver in order to graduate.