Education
3:33 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

NC High School Graduation Rate Continues to Climb

North Carolina’s graduation rate is at an all-time high, with more than eight out of ten students earning a diploma in four years.

According to statistics released Thursday by the NC Dept. of Public Instruction, the graduation rate for Guilford County Schools rose almost 2 percentage points to 86.2 percent. In Forsyth County, more than 82 percent of last school year’s graduating class earned their diploma within four years.
Credit Keri Brown

The state Department of Public Instruction said Thursday that 82 percent of students who started high school graduated within four years. That's up from 80 percent last year and 68 percent in 2006, when the state began reporting the four-year graduation rate.

In the Triad, Guilford County schools saw a nearly two percent increase. Forsyth County Schools saw also saw a slight increase in their high school graduation rate.

But there's disagreement over why North Carolina's schools are doing better, despite recession-era funding cuts that have forced schools to hire fewer teachers while enrollments increase.

Dr. Beverly Emory is the Superintendent of Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools. She says strong community partnerships are making a big difference in her district.

“Educators have been using different strategies, but they can’t do it alone. There has also been this huge effort here for the community to be aware of what are the issues and there has been so much investment in mentoring and summer program, just ownership,” says Emory.

She added, “The Chamber of Commerce and the United Way are among the major funder organizations that have rolled their sleeves up and helped, so that makes a big difference for schools in the Winston-Salem area.” 

The report includes graduation rates for each of the state's public high schools, school districts and for the state overall. About 1.5 million students attend the state's public schools.