For all high schools across Washington state, the on-time graduation rate for the class of 2017 increased slightly to 79.3 percent from 79.1 percent the year before.
Washington’s four-year graduation rate for public high schools barely budged last year, but several groups of traditionally underserved students made higher than average gains.
The state superintendent’s office reported this week that 79.3 percent of all students in the class of 2017 graduated within four years of starting high school. That’s up slightly from 79.1 percent for the class of 2016.
But black, Latino, special-education and low-income students — who on average still trail the overall graduation rate — posted higher-than-average growth during the past two years. The graduation rate for black students, for example, rose from 70.7 percent in 2016 to 71.5 percent last year, while the graduation rate for students with special needs reached 59.4 percent in 2017, up from 58.1 percent the year before.
The nation’s high-school graduation rate was 84 percent for the 2015-16 school year, the most recent data available.
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At 79 percent, the on-time graduation rate in Seattle Public Schools trailed the state average. But it’s an increase from the 78 percent reported last year and 75 percent in 2012.
Across King County, a number of school districts posted rates higher than the state average, including Bellevue, Issaquah, Lake Washington, Northshore, Riverview, Snoqualmie Valley and Tahoma — all of which graduated more than 90 percent of the class of 2017.
Some districts — including Federal Way, Snoqualmie Valley and Tahoma — also have posted double-digit gains in their graduation rates since 2012.
Broken down by gender, the statewide rate was 82.6 percent for females and 76.3 percent for males. Those rates are up slightly from 2016, when they were 82.4 percent and 76 percent, respectively.
Among racial subgroups, Asian students had the highest graduation rate at 87.5 percent, though that was down from 88.6 percent in 2016. The American Indian/Alaskan Native rate also declined, from 60.6 percent in 2016 to 60.3 percent last year.
For details on all of the state’s 295 school districts, see the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s website.