Hartford Graduation Rate Holds Steady; Journalism and Media Academy Scores Highest Gain

(Friday, March 20, 2015) Hartford’s high school graduation rate, which eight years ago stood at a low of 29 percent, inched upward to 71.5 percent in 2014, an increase of three-tenths of a point from the previous year when the graduation rate hit a landmark high of 71.2 percent, according to figures released by Connecticut’s State Department of Education.
The 2014 results represent a steady climb of more than 43 percentage points, since 2006 when Hartford Public Schools began calculating its graduation rate based on a four-year cohort, in which the number of students who graduate in a given year is divided by the number of students who enrolled as freshmen four years earlier. This method of calculating graduation rates, considered the most precise way of measuring them, was adopted by the state of Connecticut in 2009.
Since then, the Hartford graduation rate has increased 18.2 percentage points. The state increase over that same period was 5.2 percentage points.
Graduation rates at most of the city’s 14 high schools fluctuated very little in 2014 from the previous year. Five schools — Bulkeley Upper School, Classical Magnet, the Culinary Arts Academy, the Law and Government Academy and the Journalism and Media Academy – experienced increases and six of the city’s seven magnet high schools maintained overall graduation rates ranging from 90 to 96 percent. The Journalism and Media Academy registered the highest gain in the district with 8.6%.
“These figures reflect the great work that our district has done in building instructional leadership, converting to smaller themed academies that offer more personalized student-centered learning; and engaging parents to a higher degree,” said Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez. “I am proud of our progress and will not rest until all of our students cross that finish line and graduate college, career, and community ready.”
Also included in the Hartford data were a 5.0% increase in the graduation rate for Special Education students; a 3.8% increase in the graduation rate for students who receive free and reduced lunch; a 3.3% increase in the graduation rate for English Language Learners; and a 3.3% increase in the graduation rate for Hispanic students. The graduation rate for black students dropped by 5.3%.
Statewide, the cohort graduation rate for 2014 was recorded at 87.0 percent, an increase of 1.5 percentage points over the previous year. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Interim State Education Commissioner Dianna Roberge-Wentzel, announced the state graduation rates at a press conference Wednesday.

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