Nearly 71% of DC students graduated last year

The percentage of high school students attending D.C. schools who graduated in the 2019-2020 school year rose over the year before, according to newly released data from the city.

The city said 70.9% of D.C. high school students graduated in four years compared to 68.2% during the 2018-2019 school year.

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education said “the four-year adjusted cohort consisted of 4,802 students who entered ninth grade in the 2016-17 school year. Of those students, 405 graduated high school by spring 2020.​”

The 70.9% four-year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate surpasses D.C.’s 2020 goal of 70.5% graduation rate in the city’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan, OSSE said.

The OSSE said 19 high schools and two alternative high schools had graduation rate increases in the 2019-20 school year, with nine high schools posting four-year graduation rates above 90%:

  • Benjamin Banneker High School
  • Duke Ellington School of the Arts
  • KIPP DC — Somerset College Preparatory PCS
  • McKinley Technology High School
  • School Without Walls
  • Friendship PCS — Friendship Technology High School​
  • Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School
  • E.L. Haynes PCS — High School​
District of Columbia Statewide 4-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate table.
CLICK TABLE TO ENLARGE: Since OSSE began using the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate in the 2010-11 school year, the graduation rate for D.C. has increased by 12 percentage points. (Courtesy OSSE)

“The graduation rate for Hispanic/Latino students increased 3.84 percentage points, the rate for African-American students increased 2.54 percentage points, and the rates for English learners, students with disabilities, and students who are at risk increased 4.50, 2.54, and 2.24 percentage points, respectively,” according to an OSSE news release.

“This demonstrates the resilience of the District’s students and teachers, as well as the families and community partners who are committed to ensuring our young people have a fair shot and the resources necessary to succeed in college and career,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, in a statement.

First collected for the 2010-11 school year, the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate is a “newer graduation rate measure,” according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The OSSE said it included the updated graduation data on the 2020 DC School Report Card, along with “several other data points from the 2019-20 school year.”

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Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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