Graduation rates increase for 7th consecutive year - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Graduation rates increase for 7th consecutive year

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(MGN photo) (MGN photo)

Officials say graduation rates in Connecticut are at a record-breaking high.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the State Department of Education say graduation rates reached 87.9 percent in 2017, marking an increase for the seventh consecutive year.

Malloy called the results "dramatic," particularly for the lowest-performing districts in the state.

"Literally thousands of people who would have not received a high school diploma seven or eight years ago have in fact received a diploma. That makes a world of difference," Malloy said. 

The rate marks an over five percent increase since 2011. Graduation rates for English learners improved to 68.4 percent in 2017, up from 62.4 percent in 2011.

The state also says that it used free and reduced-priced meal eligibility as an indicator of family wealth to discover the graduation rate gap between low-income and affluent students.

"That's tremendous news and should serve as motivation for our districts across CT that hard work combined with smart strategies gives us great results," said Diana Wentzell, Commissioner of the State Department of Education. 

The gap has decreased from 27.7 points in 2011 to 17.4 points in 2017.

"It's a community effort to ensure that the largest high school in the city is successful," said Edith Johnson, Wilbur Cross High School Principal. 

Malloy and Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell made the announcement at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven on Monday.

"Until every student who can graduate does graduate, then we're not quite fulfilling our mission," Malloy said. 

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.