High school graduation rates in Texas hit a record high last year, according to a new report by the Texas Education Agency.
Eighty-six percent of the class of 2011 graduated "on-time," a measure that counts ninth graders who graduate within four years. When you expand it to five years, the graduation rate was 92 percent. Hispanics, African-Americans, and white students all posted gains.
However, the speed at which graduation rates are improving slowed. Schools showed a 1.6 percentage gain in the 2011 school year, compared to a 3.7 percent increase the year before. But the Texas Education Agency says it’s not a big concern.
“The higher your graduation rate gets, the harder it is to make big gains,” says TEA spokesperson Debbie Ratcliff. “Think about this: If you have a kid whose earning a 95 on a paper, it’s harder for that child to show much improvement than it is for somebody that’s earning a grade of 70 to move up. As long as the trend continues upward, we’re happy with it.”
In the Austin school district, 80 percent of students graduated last school year. That was the fourth consecutive year of gains.