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Michigan's high school graduation rate continues to climb and its dropout rate continues to fall, state education officials said Wednesday.

The Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information said the 2018-19 school year graduation rate was 81.41%, up from 80.64% in 2017-18. The state's dropout rate fell to 8.36%, from the 2017-18 rate of 8.73%.

"This is great news for our students and families, because every kid in Michigan deserves a great education that gets them on track to graduate and pursue a postsecondary education,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

Michigan’s graduation rate has increased the last four years by 1.62 percentage points – from 79.79% in the 2014-15 school year, state officials said. The dropout rate has dropped 0.76 percentage points, from 9.12% in 2014-15.

The graduation rate of African American students was 70.23% in 2018-19, compared with 67.31% in 2014-15. The graduation rate for Hispanic students was 76.55% in 2018-19, up from 72.07% in 2014-15.

"While we continue to have significant room for improvement, particularly for students of color, economically disadvantaged students, and special needs students, we are making yearly progress in increasing graduation rates and decreasing dropout rates," state superintendent Michael Rice said.

CEPI calculates graduation rates by tracking enrollment records of individual students from the time they enroll in ninth grade. Graduation and dropout rates can be found on CEPI’s MI School Data website.

According to the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. public high school graduation rate for 2016-17 was 85%, the highest it has been since the rate was first measured in 2010-11. 

jchambers@detroitnews.com

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