Since scandal, Prince George’s Co. sees Md.’s largest graduation rate drop

WASHINGTON — The latest graduation rate numbers in Maryland reveal that Prince George’s County Public Schools’ rate has experienced a drop since its diploma scandal last year.

The school district’s graduation rate is now at around 78.5 percent, a decline of more than 4 percentage points compared with the previous year, and the largest drop among all school districts.

A state audit report shows that during the 2017-18 school year, one of the county’s biggest struggles was attendance.

According to the findings, the county school district did not communicate or enforce attendance-related grading requirements.

Interim schools CEO Monica Goldson released a statement addressing the decline in graduation numbers, saying, “the lower graduation rate provides us with the accurate measure we need to restore trust, accountability and academic excellence.”

Stressing the importance of urgency to address the problem, Goldson added, “Over the last year, we took several steps to greatly improve accuracy and public confidence in our graduation rates and grading practices. [Tuesday’s] graduation rate numbers reflect our stricter standards and present the necessary truth about our progress.”

By comparison, Montgomery County experienced a 1.17 percentage-point drop in its graduation rate, while overall, Maryland saw a decrease of 0.55 percentage points in its graduation rate.

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