As members of the class of 2013 enjoyed their first summer as high school graduates, local school districts and state education officials crunched data on recent graduation rates.
According to the Texas Education Agency, state graduation rates hit an all-time high, reaching 87.7 percent, for the class of 2012.
“The class of 2011 in Texas set a graduation rate that was among the highest in the nation, and now the class of 2012 has bested that number,” said Michael Williams, the state’s education commissioner. “All those working in Texas education should be proud of our strong numbers and the strides we continue to make.”
While the state has not released cohort graduation rates for the class of 2013, local districts have preliminary counts.
The Copperas Cove Independent School District had 498 graduates in 2013, a 93 percent graduation rate. Salado graduated 116 students, a 99 percent graduation rate.
“We are very proud,” said Michael Novotny, Salado ISD’s superintendent.
In Killeen, one of the largest districts between Austin and Dallas, 2,047 students graduated in 2013, officials said, not including students who earned diplomas this summer.
“We hold three different graduations for our students,” said Diana Miller, Killeen ISD’s chief academic officer, with ceremonies in June for traditional graduates, in August after summer school ends and mid-year for fall semester finishers.
“We want all our students to succeed,” Miller said. “This gives these students and their families a chance to celebrate their successes, even if they are not able to walk in June.”
In addition to being a milestone for students, high school graduation rates and diploma plans are factors considered in the state’s newest accountability rating systems, which debuted this month.
Using graduation data from the 2011-2012 school year, TEA found that Killeen, Copperas Cove and Salado each met the required standards.