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Information Services - Statistical Reports

Cohort 2008 Four-Year Graduation Rates - State Results

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) is calculating and reporting graduation rates as part of overall efforts to improve educational outcomes for all students. In addition, reporting graduation rates is required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act and by a National Governors Association compact that Massachusetts has signed.

The 2008 four-year cohort graduation rate is calculated as follows:

# of students in cohort (denominator) who graduate in 4 years or less
[# of 1st time entering 9th graders in 2004-05] - transfers out/deaths + transfers in

The 2008 four-year cohort graduation rate for Massachusetts public high schools increased by 0.3 percentage points to 81.2 percent from 80.9 percent in 2007. This increase represented the second consecutive year of an increase in the four-year rate. Many student subgroups also had an increased four-year rate as compared to 2007 including both African American students and students with limited English proficiency (LEP), who had increases of 3.2 and 2.5 percentage points respectively. However, there are significant gaps in the graduation rates among different subgroups. Specifically, among the race and ethnicity subgroups, there is a 28.4 percentage point difference between the highest and lowest groups, Asians and Hispanics.

Additional critical findings of the report include:

  • Students in urban school districts graduated at a rate of 0.5 percentage points higher than the 2007 cohort.1
  • African American males graduated at a rate that was 4.2 percentage points higher than the 2007 cohort and represented the largest increase among the ten largest race and gender combinations.
  • Students who attended more than one Massachusetts public high school graduated at a rate much lower than those students who attended only one public high school in Massachusetts.
  • Over 60 percent of the students in the cohort who are still enrolled in a Massachusetts public school earned their Competency Determination (CD) by passing both the English Language Arts and Mathematics sections of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System.
  • 73 percent of school districts and 64 percent of high schools had a higher graduation rate than the state average of 81.2 percent.

The following tables and graphs further summarize the results for the 2008 cohort. The results are based on data submitted to the Department by school districts through the Department's Student Information Management System.



Table 1. Graduation Results for All Students and Student Subgroups2
  GraduatesNon-Graduates3
 2008
Cohort # 4
4-Year RateDifference from 2007Still in SchoolNon-Grad Completer5GEDDropped OutExpelled
All Students77,38381.2%+0.36.0%0.7%2.0%9.9%0.2%
Female37,76184.7%+0.64.5%0.7%1.8%8.3%0.1%
Male39,62278.0%+0.27.5%0.8%2.2%11.4%0.2%
LEP 64,51155.8%+2.514.0%4.0%0.7%25.4%0.1%
Special Education14,62964.1%+1.315.1%1.8%1.8%17.0%0.2%
Low Income25,31164.8%-0.410.8%1.2%3.1%19.7%0.3%
African American6,87768.4%+3.212.5%1.7%1.8%15.3%0.4%
Asian3,34986.7%+3.04.7%0.8%1.2%6.4%0.1%
Hispanic9,87158.3%-0.212.7%1.7%2.3%24.6%0.3%
Multi-race, Non-Hisp.94280.5%+0.96.3%1.0%2.9%9.3%0.1%
Native American22566.7%-1.78.0%1.3%3.6%20.4%0.0%
Pacific Islander9170.3%+6.711.0%1.1%4.4%13.2%0.0%
White56,02886.6%+0.24.1%0.4%1.9%6.8%0.1%
Urban24,03563.6%+0.511.7%1.4%3.0%20.1%0.2%


Table 2. Graduation Results for Race/Ethnicity Groups by Gender
  GraduatesNon-Graduates
 2008
Cohort #
4-Year RateDifference from 2007Still in SchoolNon-Grad CompleterGEDDropped OutExpelled
African American Female3,40474.2%+2.19.3%1.6%1.5%13.2%0.1%
African American Male3,47362.7%+4.215.5%1.7%2.1%17.4%0.6%
Asian
Female
1,59589.3%+3.83.6%0.7%1.0%5.4%0.1%
Asian
Male
1,75484.4%+2.55.8%1.0%1.3%7.3%0.2%
Hispanic
Female
4,75964.4%+0.410.3%1.8%2.3%21.1%0.1%
Hispanic
Male
5,11252.6%-0.615.0%1.7%2.3%28.0%0.4%
Multi-race
Female
47684.5%+0.15.3%0.8%3.2%6.3%0.0%
Multi-race
Male
46676.4%+2.17.3%1.1%2.6%12.4%0.2%
Native American Female10669.8%+0.210.4%0.0%2.8%17.0%0.0%
Native American Male11963.9%-3.45.9%2.5%4.2%23.5%0.0%
Pacific Islander Female4060.0%-15.07.5%0.0%7.5%25.0%0.0%
Pacific Islander
Male
5178.4%+24.213.7%2.0%2.0%3.9%0.0%
White
Female
27,38189.3%+0.52.9%0.3%1.7%5.6%0.1%
White
Male
28,64784.1%+0.15.2%0.5%2.2%7.9%0.2%


Table 3. Graduation Results for Students Receiving Special Education Services by Gender
  GraduatesNon-Graduates
 2008
Cohort #
4-Year RateDifference from 2007Still in SchoolNon-Grad CompleterGEDDropped OutExpelled
Special Ed. Female5,26967.4%+2.113.7%1.8%1.7%15.4%0.0%
Special Ed. Male9,36062.2%+0.915.9%1.8%1.9%17.9%0.2%


Table 4. Graduation Results for Limited English Proficient Students
  GraduatesNon-Graduates
 2008
Cohort #
4-Year RateDifference from 2007Still in SchoolNon-Grad CompleterGEDDropped OutExpelled
LEP
Female
2,16560.7%+1.912.7%4.2%0.8%21.5%0.0%
LEP
Male
2,34651.2%+2.915.3%3.7%0.6%29.1%0.2%
LEP in
Original Cohort
2,84559.5%+2.711.5%1.9%1.0%26.0%0.1%
LEP Entered
Cohort after 10/1/04
1,66649.4%+1.418.3%7.5%0.2%24.5%0.1%


Table 5. Graduation Results for Race/Ethnicity by Limited English Proficient Status
  GraduatesNon-Graduates
 2008
Cohort #
4-Year RateDifference from 2007Still in SchoolNon-Grad CompleterGEDDropped OutExpelled
African American LEP76060.4%+4.617.5%7.0%0.1%15.0%0.0%
African American Non-LEP6,11769.4%+3.011.9%1.0%2.0%15.4%0.4%
Asian
LEP
68074.0%+5.611.8%2.5%0.4%11.2%0.1%
Asian
Non-LEP
2,66990.0%+3.03.0%0.4%1.3%5.2%0.1%
Hispanic
LEP
2,38246.7%+1.715.1%4.0%0.8%33.1%0.2%
Hispanic
Non-LEP
7,48962.0%-0.411.9%1.0%2.8%22.0%0.3%
Multi-race
LEP
2347.8%-2.28.7%13.0%0.0%30.4%0.0%
Multi-race
Non-LEP
91981.3%+0.96.2%0.7%2.9%8.8%0.1%
Native American LEP1070.0%+32.510.0%0.0%0.0%20.0%0.0%
Native American Non-LEP21566.5%-3.27.9%1.4%3.7%20.5%0.0%
Pacific-Islander LEP683.3%+33.316.7%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
Pacific Islander Non-LEP8569.4%+5.110.6%1.2%4.7%14.1%0.0%
White
LEP
65064.2%+0.58.5%1.5%1.4%24.5%0.0%
White
Non-LEP
55,37986.9%+0.34.1%0.4%2.0%6.6%0.1%


Table 6. Graduation Results for Non-Mobile and Mobile Students7
  GraduatesNon-Graduates
High Schools Attended2008
Cohort #
4-Year RateDifference from 2007Still in SchoolNon-Grad CompleterGEDDropped OutExpelled
One
School
65,32486.2% +0.14.1%0.6%1.5%7.5%0.2%
Two
Schools
9,64558.7% -0.114.8%1.2%4.3%20.7%0.3%
Three
Schools
1,81839.7%-1.221.8%1.1%4.7%31.8%1.0%
Four or More Schools59628.0%-0.429.5%1.0%4.9%35.2%1.3%


Table 7. Competency Determination Status for Select Non-Graduate Groups
 Still in SchoolDropped Out
 NumberCDNo CDNumberCDNo CD
All Students4,66262.2%37.8%7,65933.8%66.2%
Female1,70959.1%40.9%3,14035.8%64.2%
Male2,95364.0%36.0%4,51932.3%67.7%
LEP62847.0%53.0%1,14712.9%87.1%
Special Education2,20944.8%55.2%2,48927.0%73.0%
Low Income2,73860.3%39.7%4,99327.6%72.4%
African American85756.4%43.6%1,05425.7%74.3%
Asian15971.1%28.9%21433.2%66.8%
Hispanic1,25058.7%41.2%2,43319.5%80.5%
Multi-race, Non-Hisp.5969.5%30.5%8831.8%68.2%
Native American1883.3%16.7%4637.0%63.0%
Pacific Islander1040.0%60.0%1250.0%50.0%
White2,30965.4%34.5%3,81245.0%55.0%


Table 8. Distribution of Graduation Rates in the Aggregate for Districts8
2008 Four-Year
Graduation Rate
Number of DistrictsPercentage of Districts
< 50%93.2
50 - <60%51.8
60 - <70%124.2
70 - <80%4315.1
80 - <85%3311.6
85 - <90%6522.9
90 - <95%8128.5
95 - 100%3612.7
Total284100


Table 9. Distribution of Graduation Rates in the Aggregate for Schools9
2008 Four-Year
Graduation Rate
Number of SchoolsPercentage of Schools
< 50%3710.8
50 - <60%213.4
60 - <70%195.7
70 - <80%5012.3
80 - <85%3011.4
85 - <90%6818.2
90 - <95%8021.4
95 - 100%5816.8
Total363100

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Last Updated: February 5, 2009
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