Preliminary figures on how many Missouri high school students earn their diplomas have been released, and a new procedure for calculating graduation rates is being used.
The new procedure is mandated by the federal government, and it only takes into account students who complete high school in four years time. Michele Clark is with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
“What that means for Missouri is that we will be able to have a rate that is comparable across the nation, not only at the state level, but at the district and school level," Clark said.
Traditionally, Missouri includes students who take longer than four years to graduate from high school in calculating its rates. For now, the state will publish two sets of statistics: The traditional one, and the new one that only takes into account four-year graduates.
"There’s two rates, two ways of looking at the data, both are useful," Clark said."
As for the preliminary results released today: Missouri’s 4-year graduation rate is at 79.8 percent. Eighty-four and a half percent of white students graduated in four years, compared to 63.9 percent of African-American students and 73.9 percent of Hispanic students. Gender-wise, 83.5 percent of female students graduated this year, compared to 76.4 percent of male students. The 4-year rate for St. Louis city schools is 52.6 percent, and 50.6 percent for Kansas City schools.
Full results will be released December 1st. More prelimary results can be found by clicking here, then clicking on the link to the document, "Four-Year District Graduation Rate."