West Virginia's graduation rate improves again, nearing 90%

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West Virginia's graduation rate improves again, nearing 90%
By WVEA Communications staff

West Virginia's high school graduation rate was near 90 percent for the 2015-2016 school year, state Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano announced Tuesday. The graduation rate was 89.81 percent.

“No other metric is more important in validating our progress than our graduation rate,” Martirano said in a statement. “When more young people achieve and graduate, our entire state becomes stronger.”

West Virginia’s graduation rate has continued to rise throughout the last several years. Data from the U.S. Department of Education placed West Virginia among the top 20 states for graduation rates in 2014-15, with a rate of 86.5 percent, up from 84.5 percent in 2013-14, according to the state Department of Education.

State officials cited the importance (and positive impact on the graduation rate) of the state’s Early Warning System, which tracks 45 different indicators – the most important being attendance, behavior and grades – to identify students at risk of dropping out.

“Graduating from high school is a strong positive indicator of a brighter future,” Martirano said. “Individuals graduating from high school typically earn more in their lifetime than those who drop out and are less likely to be incarcerated or become involved in illegal drug use.”