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Good News for a Friday: More Colorado Kids Graduate High School On Time

What better time to talk about good news than a Friday? Chalkbeat Colorado reports that the number of students completing high school on time is moving in the right direction:

The state’s graduation rate for the class of 2013 increased by 1.5 percentage points to 76.9 percent — the same increment of change as the year before. The dropout rate also declined to its lowest point since 2003, with 2.5 percent of students statewide dropping out compared with 2.9 in 2011-2012.

Here is a quick breakdown on some of the state’s biggest districts’ 4-year graduation rates:

  • Denver: 61.3%
  • Jefferson County: 81.5%
  • Douglas County: 88.8%
  • Cherry Creek: 87.4%
  • Adams 12: 73.7%

Since I’ve talked a lot lately about education transformation, I started thinking about the significance of the “on-time” graduation rate. It would be great to see Colorado move towards a new education system that is based on student mastery, not on “seat time.” Some students could accelerate through and finish ready to take college courses early. Others could use the extra time afforded them by the state constitution to complete their secondary program. In that scenario, what exactly does “on-time” mean?

That’s the kind of problem I look forward to having. The kind of problem that comes as we further reduce the dropout rate and empower more students to take charge of their educational success! After a fun and relaxing weekend, anyway.

(Next up? A truly comparable picture of state graduation rates….)