According to data released from the Maryland State Department of Education, the four-year graduation rate for Prince George’s County Public Schools has risen 1.25 percentage points, moving from 72.87 to 74.12 percent.
The largest gains came in the county’s alternative schools, vocational schools and among students with limited English language skills the school system said. Bowie High School had the sixth-biggest increase in the graduation rate.
Graduation rates rose in nearly all student subgroups, with the highest increases made by students with limited English proficiency – which rose by 5.57 percentage points – and Hispanic/Latino students, whose rate rose by 3.56 percentage points.
As graduation rates rose across the state, dropout rates declined. In Prince George’s County, the dropout rate decreased 1.03 percentage points from 19.53 percent in 2012 to 18.50 percent in 2013.
“This data reflects the efforts of students and staff and the increased support of our parents and community,” said Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, chief executive officer for PGCPS, in a news release. “Our primary goal as we move the school district forward is to not only ensure that more students graduate, but ensure that all students graduate prepared for success in college and careers.”
To support this goal, PGCPS has implemented a number of strategies. There is an increased focus on teaching and learning, targeted professional development for teachers, enhanced data practices that help identify individual student needs, expansion of online credit recovery programs, and changes to disciplinary actions in the Code of Student Conduct that focus on alternatives to out-of-school suspensions.
Comprehensive high schools that have made gains of three or more percentage points in their graduation rate are as follows:
Surrattsville High School: 70.98 for the class of 2012, 80.28 for the class of 2013, 9.30 percentage of increase.
Charles H. Flowers High School: 82.57 for the class of 2012, 86.95 for the class of 2013, 4.38 percentage of increase.
Parkdale High School: 67.21 for the class of 2012, 71.48 for the class of 2013, 4.27 percentage of increase.
Forestville High School: 65.99 for the class of 2012, 70.23 for the class of 2013, 4.24 percentage of increase.
High Point High School: 57.82 for the class of 2012, 61.55 for the class of 2013, 3.73 percentage of increase.
Bowie High School: 85.61 for the class of 2012, 89.01 for the class of 2013, 3.40 percentage of increase.
Alternative high schools with smaller student populations, Tall Oaks and Croom vocational schools, saw gains of 10.7 and 10.52 percentage points, respectively.
Data from MSDE uses a four-year “cohort” method when calculating graduation rate, which is the number of students who graduate with a high school diploma divided by the number of students in their cohort group that has been tracked since ninth grade.
To view data for any district or school in Maryland, visit the 2013 Maryland Report Card website at www.mdreportcard.org.