Data released yesterday by the South Carolina Department of Education show that graduation rates for South Carolina students increased for the second consecutive year. Graduation rates for African-American, Hispanic, and subsidized school meal students are at their highest levels since the SC Department of Education began releasing student subgroup performance in 2004.
With an all-student on-time graduation rate of 74.9 percent, more students graduated in 2012 than in 2011 when the on-time graduation rate was 73.6 percent. The all-student graduation rate is at its highest level since 2008. However, the state’s graduation rate is still below 78.0 percent achieved in 2003, the high water mark during the past 11 years.
The graduation rate gap between white and African-American students deceased in 2012 by 0.2 percent and is at its smallest margin since 2004. The gap between white and Hispanic students increased in 2012 by 0.5 percent, but has declined by 5.1 percent since 2004.
The graduation rates released yesterday are calculated using the federally required method called the four-year cohort graduation rate. All states have agreed to use this method. Although the method of calculating graduation rates is the same, states vary greatly in the number of credits each requires to graduate. This difference greatly affects the graduation rates when states are compared directly.
Locally, both Laurens 55 and 56 scored slightly less than the state average. Laurens 55 had 71.5% students graduate after four years, while theClintonschool district saw a measure of 70.2%