Maine: An Encyclopedia
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Rank of Maine, Education, Graduation Rates

The U.S. Department of Education released a report November 26, 2012 “detailing state four-year high school graduation rates in 2010-11 – the first year for which all states used a common, rigorous measure.” The new calculation, the Department emphasized, is not comparable to previously reported rates.

Some news reports in Maine hailed the state’s ranking at 10th in the nation (not mentioning that it was actually tied with Illinois for that spot among the 47 states that reported).

The graduation rate, while important, is only one measure of educational success.  (See also Rank of Maine, Education.) Were some states more lenient in graduating less prepared students?  Were some states with higher standards, or more cautious about moving students with disabilities through their systems, rewarded with lower rankings?

For instance, Maine graduated 66% of students with disabilities, while New York’s rate for these students was 48%.  What does this really mean?

Obviously evaluating our education systems is difficult, and Maine’s ranking should not be dismissed.  But it should be a starting point for a comprehensive analysis.

Within the state, as one might expect, wide differences may be found.  For instance, Lewiston High School, the state’s largest, had a 4-year graduation rate of 66%.  The next largest public high school, Bangor had a rate of 81%.

As the chart below illustrates, for schools over 600 students, those at the smaller end of this range tend to have higher graduation rates.  One reason may be that the larger schools are in large communities that attract families with English as a second language, or who have moved there for the social services they need but cannot get in smaller communities.

Smaller schools, under 600 enrollment, show little difference among themselves regarding size and graduation rates.

The graduation rate for all 133 public high schools was 83.15%; for the eleven 60% publicly funded private schools (eight “academies,” Maine Central Institute,  John Bapst Memorial, Blue Hill Harbor), the rate was 91.8%.

Big Schools Size and Graduation Rate

Big Schools Size and Graduation Rate

Percent of All Students Graduating in 4 Years (2011)
_____________________________
State %All Rank
IOWA 88% 1
VERMONT 87% 2
WISCONSIN 87% 3
INDIANA 86% 4
NEBRASKA 86% 5
NEW HAMPSHIRE 86% 6
NORTH DAKOTA 86% 7
TENNESSEE 86% 8
TEXAS 86% 9
ILLINOIS 84% 10
MAINE 84% 11
CONNECTICUT 83% 12
KANSAS 83% 13
MARYLAND 83% 14
MASSACHUSETTS 83% 15
NEW JERSEY 83% 16
PENNSYLVANIA 83% 17
SOUTH DAKOTA 83% 18
MONTANA 82% 19
VIRGINIA 82% 20
ARKANSAS 81% 21
MISSOURI 81% 22
HAWAII 80% 23
OHIO 80% 24
WYOMING 80% 25
ARIZONA 78% 26
DELAWARE 78% 27
NORTH CAROLINA 78% 28
MINNESOTA 77% 29
NEW YORK 77% 30
RHODE ISLAND 77% 31
CALIFORNIA 76% 32
UTAH 76% 33
WASHINGTON 76% 34
WEST VIRGINIA 76% 35
MISSISSIPPI 75% 36
COLORADO 74% 37
MICHIGAN 74% 38
SOUTH CAROLINA 74% 39
ALABAMA 72% 40
FLORIDA 71% 41
LOUISIANA 71% 42
ALASKA 68% 43
OREGON 68% 44
GEORGIA 67% 45
NEW MEXICO 63% 46
NEVADA 62% 47

 

Source: “2010-11 Four-Year Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rates.” http://www.ed.gov/category/keyword/2010-11-four-year-regulatory-adjusted-cohort-graduation-rates (accessed December 1, 2012)

Maine high school data: http://www.maine.gov/education/gradrates/gradrates.html (accessed December 1, 2012)




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This entry was last modified: May 16, 2017 01:02 AM

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