Graduation rates drop

Published 1:49 pm Monday, October 16, 2017

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recently released graduation rates for 2017, which cited 91.1 percent of students in the state earned a board of education-approved diploma, compared with 91.3 percent in 2016.

Nancy Leonard

According to data from VDOE, the dropout rate for 2017 for Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS) was 9.1 percent, compared to 2016’s 6.5 percent. The on-time graduation rate for CCPS was 87 percent compared to 90.6 in 2016.

CCPS Division Superintendent Dr. Nancy Leonard said since the division has a small number of students enrolled, a few students can make a larger impact on outcome data.

“Last year’s graduating class was smaller than usual and we had several transfer students who were at or near 18 years of age,” Leonard said. “They enrolled but then did not continue. We called VDOE to see if we could withdraw the enrollment, but could not do so.”

According to a VDOE press release, more than nine out of 10 students who entered the ninth grade in 2013 earned a diploma within four years and more than half graduated from high school with the commonwealth’s most rigorous diploma.

The statewide dropout rate for the Class of 2017 was 5.8 percent, compared with 5.3 percent for the previous graduating class.

“The long-term trend is far more important than a temporary plateau or a year-to-year fluctuation,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples in the release. “And when you look at the long-term trend for Virginia, you see a 10-point improvement in the graduation rate since 2008 as a result of a systemwide focus on keeping students in school and improving outcomes.”