TEA News Releases Online
July 16, 2010
Eighty percent of Class of 2009 graduate on time
AUSTIN – Texas’ comprehensive efforts to increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates resulted in an 80.6 percent four-year, on-time graduation rate for the Class of 2009, Commissioner of Education Robert Scott said today.
The Texas Education Agency’s annual Secondary School Completion and Dropouts in Texas Public Schools report shows that the number of dropouts in grades 7-12 decreased to 40,923 in the 2008-2009 school year, a 10.6 percent decrease from the 45,796 students who dropped out in the 2007-2008 school year.
“Texas is aggressively working to increase the graduation rate. Our efforts are paying off and we are receiving national attention for this effort,” Scott said.
The National Governors Association, Achieve, and Jobs for the Future have each issued reports commending Texas for its dropout recovery and prevention efforts.
The Texas programs are focused around four research-based strategies. Those are:
- Learning environments are challenging and personalized for each student;
- Mentors are used as role models and advocates for students;
- Students who are behind in school receive academic support;
- Data systems identify struggling students who need early intervention.
A redesigned TEA dropout information website provides additional detail about the wide array of programs in use in the state’s schools.
“The dropout issue impacts all states, and there is not a single magic solution that will solve the challenge. By providing a variety of support combined with relevant and challenging courses, our educators can put together a plan that addresses the needs of students on their campus,” Scott said.
The latest state-level data show progress. Among the 308,427-member Class of 2009:
- 80.6 percent or 248,500 students graduated in four years;
- 8.6 percent or 26,667 students continued in school;
- 1.4 percent, which represents 4,404 students, received a General Educational Development (GED) certificate; and
- 9.4 percent or 28,856 dropped out during their high school years.
When analyzed by ethnic groups, graduations rates for the Class of 2009 ranged from a high of 92.4 percent for Asian Americans to a low of 73.5 percent for Hispanic students.
When counting how many students dropped out from grades 7-12 over one school year, 40,923 students dropped out during the 2008-2009 school year. Of these, 2,203 students dropped out of grades 7-8, and 38,720 dropped out of grades 9-12. In 2008-2009, students who dropped out of grade 12 accounted for 30.9 percent of all dropouts, the highest proportion of any grade.
These figures are calculated using the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) definition of a dropout, which Texas has been phasing in over the past four years. NCES defines a dropout as a student who was enrolled in public school in grades 7-12, does not return to public school the following fall, is not expelled and does not graduate, receive a GED, continue school outside the public school system, die or begin college.
Because of the phased in collection of the data, the Class of 2009 data is the first set of graduation statistics available using four years of data collected under the NCES definition.
Therefore, statistics for the Class of 2008 are not directly comparable because they are based on three years of data collected using the NCES definition and one year using the previous state definition,. The Class of 2008 data showed that 79.1 percent of the students graduated in four years, 8.9 percent continued in school, 1.5 percent received a GED and 10.5 percent dropped out.
The full state-level dropout report is available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4080#reports.