Graduation rates are calculated by following individual students from the time they enroll as ninth-graders. (Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News)
Lansing — Graduation rates in Michigan are increasing, with the statewide four-year graduation rate for the high school class of 2013 reaching 76.96 percent, up 0.7 percentage points from 2012, according to the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information.
At the same time, the 2013 state dropout rate is down 0.17 percentage points, to 10.54 percent.
Graduation rates are calculated by following individual students from the time they enroll as ninth-graders. State data officials said this method, which CEPI began using in the 2006-07 school year, provides a more accurate measure of a school’s success in preparing students for college and careers.
Of Michigan’s 127,727 high school seniors, 98,299 graduated in four years while 13,463 dropped out in the 2012-13 school year.
“Other than a smaller-than-expected dip in 2011, when the more rigorous Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements took full effect, graduation rates have remained on a steady upward trend since we began calculating rates by cohort group seven years ago,” said CEPI Director Thomas Howell.
All but four of the 20 largest districts in the state improved their graduation rates.
Large districts with the most significant gains were L’Anse Creuse Public Schools, up 7.44 percentage points to 80.02 percent; Waterford School District, up 5.78 percentage points to 78.85 percent; Lansing Public School District, up 4.45 percentage points to 56.01 percent; and Dearborn City School District, up 3.64 percentage points to 86.17 percent.
At Detroit Public Schools, the state’s largest school district with just under 50,000 students, the graduation rate was 64.55 percent and the dropout rate was 22.64 percent. In 2011-12, the district’s graduation rate was 64.74 percent, and the dropout rate was 19.38 percent.
While the statewide dropout rate was 10.54 percent in 2013, five years ago it was 14.19 percent.
“We had confidence in our students and teachers meeting the more rigorous graduation standards,” said state Superintendent Mike Flanagan. “This is great news for Michigan because as our economy rebounds, so does our need for a workforce with the kind of strong educational foundation our public schools are providing.”