Seniors Meet Graduation Requirement

October 31, 2012

Charles County Public Schools’ class of 2012 met the academic challenges of the state High School Assessments (HSA) and the school system’s graduation rate for the class of 2011 increased, according to data released today by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

Countywide, the class of 2012 met reading, mathematics and graduation targets for the all students category. Mathematics, which is based on algebra scores, increased to 92.5 in 2012 from 90.4 proficiency in 2011. English scores were 90.2 in 2012, up from 86.8 in 2011. The 2011 four-year graduation cohort rate is 88 percent, up from 86.0 in 2010. Graduation rate reporting is a year behind academic scores.

No Charles County high school student failed to graduate solely because of the High School Assessments (HSA), which is a graduation requirement that took effect with the class of 2009. Other graduation requirements include student service learning and completion of a minimum of 23 credits as specified by Maryland law.

HSA data shows that 2,208 Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) seniors met the HSA requirement with 93.8 percent of students meeting the requirement by passing all four tests or earning a 1602 combined score. There were 1,778 students, or 80.5 percent, who passed all four tests and 293 students, or 13.3 percent, who met the requirement by achieving a combined score of 1602 points on the four assessments. Another 6.2 percent, or 137 students, used the Bridge Plan for Academic Validation to meet the assessment requirement.

This year’s senior class is already on track to meet the HSA requirement. At the start of the school year, there were 2,036 seniors enrolled, and 90.9 percent have already met the graduation requirement. There are 185 students who still need to take and pass between one to three tests. The 2012 results are as of the May administration of the HSA, and do not include results of any students who has passed subsequent tests or completed Bridge projects over the summer.

“The targets increase every year, and our students continue to meet high expectations set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act and the High School
Assessments. I also commend our high school teachers and staff who continue to work hard to track the progress of each senior to ensure that they meet these targets. We continue to raise standards to make certain our students are college- and work-ready,” said Superintendent James E. Richmond.

Graduation rates
Charles County Public Schools increased its four-year cohort graduation rate for 2011 to 88 percent, up from 86 percent in 2010. The state reports academic HSA data for the most recent graduating class; however, graduation rate reporting is for the prior year. MSDE this year released graduation rates by cohort rate, which is a measurement of the percent of students who complete high school within four years and using the year in which the student began ninth grade. It is a completely different calculation than the Leaver Graduation Rate, which was previously used and follows each student in a particular graduating cohort based on a unique identifier. The cohort rate replaces the Leaver rate, which counted all graduates, not just those who graduate in four years.

Richmond said he is pleased with the increases in the graduation rate, but believes the school system needs to keep more students in school and through graduation. “We must continue to work for change to ensure students graduate,” Richmond said. All 2012 school and system data is available on the updated website.

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