Fairfax Co. hits record graduation rates; Hispanic, English learners behind

Students in Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools hit record graduation rates for the state, though the school system said there were achievement gaps for Hispanic and English learners.

The county’s education department said that 94.6% of students in the class of 2021 graduated on time, up from 93% in 2020.

Superintendent Scott Brabrand said Friday that this perseverance was part of overcoming virtual instruction and social challenges.

“These results also reflect the commitment of our teachers, school leaders, and support staff to ensure equitable access to resources so that all of our students can achieve the ultimate goal of graduation,” Brabrand said.

The school system also reflected on its attempts to close achievement gaps in Hispanic, economically disadvantaged and English learning communities.

FCPS said that over 29% of its total student population fits into the economically disadvantaged category, with English learners at 27% and Hispanic populations at 26.8%.

Students in those groups, according to Virginia’s school quality report, progressed toward successful completion and lowered drop out rates. However, the number remains substantial.

Students considered English learners increased their on time graduation rates by 9.2% and continued to graduate at the lowest rates. Their graduation rates of 76.6%, with a drop out rate 22.6% — an improvement of over seven points.

Despite these numbers, the district did report progress across the board, with every group improving in the district’s goal of on-time graduation for all students.


Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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