4-year graduation rates down in Montgomery County; achievement gap remains a concern

FILE - Montgomery County Public Schools headquarters. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

The four-year graduation rates in Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools have dropped for the third year in a row.

Recently released numbers show about a 1% decrease for the 2017-2018 school year, which is the lowest since 2013, Bethesda Magazine reports.

But there were increases in last year’s graduating class for some groups. Four-year graduation rates increased for black students, students of two or more races and students with limited English proficiency, as well as students who received free or discounted meals at school.

Groups that experienced graduation rate decreases, included white, Hispanic, Asian and recipients of special education services.

But at about 87%, the Montgomery County’s four-year graduation rate is ahead of the national average, which is 84%.

The percent of students who graduate in five years is higher, about 90%.

Achievement gap concerns

Even though the graduation rate in Maryland’s largest school system is higher than the national average, there are disparities between the strides students are making on their way to that milestone. The achievement gap remains a concern.

Recently released accountability report cards for each school in Montgomery County take a glance into achievement among five focus groups that consider race, poverty and other factors.

The report card looks at the performance of black and Hispanic students juxtaposed with white, Asian and other student groups, as well as a snapshot of the academic performance of students who received school meals at a free or discounted price.

Take a look at achievement at elementary, middle, high and a special/alternative schools within Montgomery County Public Schools.

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