UPDATED: Four-Year Graduation Rates Down, Dropout Rates Up at Trenton High School
Trenton Public Schools' four-year graduation rate decreased by about 1 percent during the 2011-2012 school year.
The four-year graduation rates for students at Trenton High School decreased from 93.5 percent in 2011 to 92.4 percent in 2012, according to data released Wednesday by the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI).
Trenton graduated 222 students last year, and outpaced the statewide graduation average by more than 16 percent, according to the report.
Trenton High School dropout rates increased from 1.65 percent in 2011 to 2.94 in 2012.
Across Michigan, four-year graduation rates for students expected to graduate last spring increased to 76.24 percent, up 1.9 percent from the 2011 rate of 74.33.
“These numbers reflect the highest rates we have seen since we started reporting the data using a cohort methodology,” said CEPI director Thomas Howell. “This methodology allows us to track individual students from the first time they enroll as ninth-graders and has resulted in a more accurate measure of high school success for our students.”
More than 53 percent of Michigan’s school districts saw higher graduation rates. The largest increase in graduation rates throughout a five-year period were seen in several racial and ethnic groups. According to the report, rates for black students reached 59.93 percent last year, an increase of 3.64 percent since 2008. Hispanic student rates were at 64.3 percent, up 3.97 percent. This year’s rate reflects that 73.52 percent of multiracial students graduated in four years, increasing the annual rate by 3.52 percent since 2008.
“This is more positive news for Michigan public schools,” said state superintendent Mike Flanagan. “This is reflective of how our teachers and students are succeeding with the rigorous Michigan Merit Curriculum and being better prepared to continue Michigan’s economic comeback. We must stay on this positive course and keep our standards high and Michigan Merit Curriculum intact.”
Trenton Superintendent Rod Wakeham said district officials would not comment on graduation rates until they've had a chance to review the reports in more detail and present them to the Trenton Board of Education at a public meeting.
Students are divided into "cohorts"—a combination of students who began ninth grade in the district four years prior, and including students who transferred in or our within the four year period. So for 2012 graduates, the cohort includes students who began high school in Trenton in 2008, or transferred into the district before 2012 graduation.
The state also tracks students who were off track for four-year graduation but continuing their education, those who graduated or dropped out past the four-year mark, and those who completed their GED or reached the maximum special education age.
For more information about Trenton student enrollment, including students who stayed in school longer to earn a diploma in five or six years, visit www.mischooldata.org.
*A previous version of the story stated the four-year graduation rates for students at Trenton High School decreased from 96.28 percent in 2011 to 92.44 percent in 2012.