Graduation season is around the corner and grads are gearing up to walk across the stage with smiles and flowers in hand. In 2017, over 8,700 students across the state experienced that moment to receive their diploma, making it the highest Four-Year-Graduation rate: 85.75 percent.
The graduation rate also increased for minorities, low-income students and students with disabilities, while the dropout rate decreased for Native American, low-income and disabled students.
“Credit goes to the educators who are working hard on the ground to better identify students at risk and provide targeted services to help them,” said Alison May, Public Information Officer at Delaware Department of Education.
May also said teachers and school districts are offering more services ranging from class credit recovery options to extensive outreach to families and students.
Although there was good news, the dropout rate slightly increased to 1.7 percent, 700 students, from 1.4 in 2016. Dropouts were largely male and Hispanic or black, according to a Delaware Department of Education report. A majority of dropouts did so at the 10th grade citing they had academic, personal or economic reasons for dropping out, though a vast majority of high schools did not report the reasons.
Christina, Colonial and Seaford school districts bared the most of burden of dropouts, with over 80 high schoolers not going to school the next year. Those school districts did not respond quickly enough for comments.
Even though the dropout rate rose in 2017, Delaware’s graduation rate ranks 19th nationally making it higher than the national rate at 84.6 percent.
In 2010, Delaware changed how it calculates graduation rates in concordance to National Center for Educational Statistics’ federal reporting system.
The new rate measures the number and percentage of students who earned a regular high school diploma within four years or less. The graduation class is also defined by the number of first-time 9th graders who go through high school for four years plus students who transfer into a school and minus students who transfer out, emigrate or die.