HARTFORD SCHOOLS POST LANDMARK GRADUATION RATE: Increase of 43 Percentage Points Over Seven Years of Reform
Governor Dannel Malloy chats with student leaders from High School, Inc., who spoke eloquently during the press conference in which the increase in the graduation rate was announced .
(Wednesday, May 14, 2014) Hartford’s high school graduation rate, which seven years ago stood at a low of 29 percent, has completely reversed itself and hit a landmark high of 71.2 percent in 2013, according to figures released today by Connecticut’s State Department of Education.
The figure represents a steady climb of more than 43 percentage points, since 2006 when Hartford Public Schools launched an ambitious effort to reform its education system and began calculating its graduation rate based on a four-year cohort.
“This is great news for our entire city, especially our students, parents and schools,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “Absolutely nothing is more important than the education of our young people. This increase is the result of collaboration, parental engagement, rigorous academic standards, and the focus and attention needed for our students to succeed. I’m pleased with our progress so far and I encourage all those invested in this issue to stay involved so more Hartford students graduate in the future.”
The cohort graduation rate is determined by dividing the number of students who graduate in a given year by the number of students who enrolled as freshmen four years earlier. This method of calculating graduation rates, first proposed by the National Governors’ Association in 2004, is considered the most precise way of measuring them. The NGA method is now the standard in many states.
For Hartford Public Schools, today’s news means that of every 10 students who enrolled as high school freshmen in 2009, more than seven of them graduated. In all, Hartford graduated 1,009 students out of a pool of 1,418 entering freshmen. The figures also represent an increase of 6.4 percentage points from the previous year’s rate of 64.8 percent, when the district graduated 905 students out of a pool of 1,396 freshmen.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, who announced the increased graduation rate at the press conference, discusses college and career with a High School, Inc. student.
Statewide, the cohort graduation rate for 2013 was recorded at 85.5 percent.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Mayor Segarra, State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor and Dr. Jacqueline Jacoby, Special Assistant to the Hartford Board of Education, announced the state and city graduation rates at a noon press conference held at High School, Inc., the city’s insurance and finance academy at 275 Asylum Street.
“These numbers reflect the great work that our schools have done, our efforts at building leadership that contributes to success and the incredible contributions from all segments of the larger Hartford Public Schools community,” Dr. Jacoby said.
She cited credit retention programs, where students who are far behind in their studies are given time and opportunity to catch up; student success centers that offer tailored academic instruction and personal support to “off-track” students and previous drop outs who returned to city schools; the conversion to smaller themed academies that offer more personalized instruction; and a higher degree of parent engagement in the education of their children.
All but three of the 14 city high schools experienced significant gains in their graduations rates. Among the leaders was High School, Inc., under the leadership of Principal Terrell Hill, where the graduation rate jumped more than 18 percentage points from 52.4 to 72.8. At the Law & Government Academy, led by Principal Frank Samuelson, the graduation rate increased from 47.4 percentage points to 71.7, a gain of 24.3 percentage points. And Principal Steve Perry’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School graduated 100 percent of its 33 seniors in 2013.
to see chart describing Hartford's NGA Graduation Rate by School 2010-2013.
to read the story in the Hartford Courant.