Education

Wake high school graduation rate flat

Posted July 22, 2010 12:30 p.m. EDT

— The graduation rate from Wake County high schools remained steady in 2009-10 at 78.4 percent, officials said Thursday.

The rate is based on the number of ninth-grade students who graduate four years later.

Rates for Native American and Hispanic students and students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches showed marked gains from 2008-09, officials said.

The graduation rate for Native American students jumped by 9 percentage points, to 95.7 percent; the rate for Hispanics rose 3.3 percentage points, to 54.4 percent; and the rate for economically disadvantaged students rose 5.5 percentage points, to 59.7 percent.

“I applaud and commend our teachers and principals who have worked hard to achieve these gains,” Ron Margiotta, school board chairman, said in a statement. “I know through our continued hard work we can build on these improvements.”

There still is a wide gap between graduation rates for white students and most minorities. Whites posted an 89.4 percent rate for the second straight year, while the rate for black students was 64.2 percent, up 0.8 percentage points from 2008-09. The rate for Hispanics remains below 55 percent, and the rate for mixed-race students tumbled from 81.2 percent last year to 76.4 percent.