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Public school students in the nation’s capital are graduating on time at a record high rate, The Washington Post reports.

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The school district reported that 69 percent of its seniors in 2016 graduated within four years, which marks a 5 percent increase from 2015. It’s the second consecutive on-time graduation rate increase.

However, the newspaper underscored the continued gap between students of color and their White peers. Just 67 percent of Black students graduated on time, while 93 percent of White students achieved that mark. Only 60 percent of Black males graduated in four years.

Graduation figures for the district’s charter schools were not yet reported. They enroll nearly half of the district’s public school students, according to The Post.

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, who announced her resignation in June, set an ambitious goal in 2012 of a 75 percent on-time graduation rate by 2017.

The Post said she and her principals credit their investment in extracurricular activities, credit recovery programs, and challenging courses for the improved graduation rates. Henderson also pointed to a focus on the students’ transition from middle school to high school, as well as ensuring they pass math and English, which they emphasize are foundational courses.

That’s similar to the approach that led to recent success in Chicago. The city’s school district and teachers union credit their focus on keeping high school freshmen on track as a key to achieving a record high graduation rate of 73 percent in 2016.

SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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