Raimondo Recognizes Student Achievement at North Providence High School
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo today recognized North Providence High School for attaining the highest graduation rate in the state at 98 percent.
"Congratulations to the entire North Providence High School community," Raimondo said. "You've shown that with dedication and by focusing on the individual learning needs of each student, we can dramatically improve graduation rates and prepare all students for success."
As part of a student assembly at the high school, she also announced that the four-year statewide graduation rate for the Class of 2015 rose to 83 percent, its highest rate ever. The rate is 2 percentage points higher than the previous year's rate and represents a 6-point improvement over the past three years (since the Class of 2012).
Across the state, 24 high schools had a graduation rate of 90 percent or better. A number of schools made significant one-year gains, with Burrillville High School, Central High School (Providence), Mount Pleasant High School (Providence), and Rogers High School (Newport) all improving by 10 points or more since the previous year.
"We have made good progress this year, but we still have a long road ahead to get to where we need to be," Raimondo said. "Going forward, we need to continue to improve graduation rates and we need to be sure a diploma truly signifies that our graduates have the skills that matter for jobs that pay."
The improvement was seen across all student groups, with graduation rates among black students up 5.2 points from last year, Hispanic students up 5.6 points, low-income students up 4.5 points, students with disabilities up 7.5 points and English learners up 4.5 points.
"Congratulations to the students and teachers in Rhode Island high schools on their progres toward improving our statewide graduation rates," Board of Education Chair Barbara S. Cottam said. "We need to continue this progress in the years ahead, ensuring that every student is engaged in learning and is building the skills that matter for the workforce of tomorrow."
"Earning the high school diploma is a significant milestone on the road to success," Council on Elementary and Secondary Education Chair Daniel P. McConaghy said. "Data from the state Department of Labor and Training show that unemployment among those without a high school diploma tops 12 percent - more than twice the statewide unemployment rate. In order to be sure that our graduates have a place in our future economy, we need to keep students on the pathway toward graduation."
"I am pleased with the improvement in our graduation rates, although we all must recognize that not all of our graduates are truly prepared for success in postsecondary schooling and in challenging careers," Education Commissioner Ken Wagner said. "We need to find a way to close the gap between completion and readiness while making sure that all students are on a pathway leading them toward a diploma and industry-recognized credentials. Empowering schools and families while focusing on advanced coursework and personalized instruction for all students will help us achieve this goal."
"I am deeply honored that the Governor and our state's education leaders are celebrating this great achievement of our North Providence High School students," North Providence Mayor Charles A. Lombardi said. "We are extremely proud that they attained the highest graduation rate in the state this past year, and we look forward to their continued successes and high graduation rates."
The graduation rate released today is the four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2015 (students who entered high school in the 2011-12 school year). Among that class, 8.6 percent of students are still in school, in need of more time to earn a diploma, 1.5 percent are in GED programs and 6.7 percent have dropped out of school.
More information on the 2015 graduation rate, including graduation rates for each high school for the past seven years, is posted on the RIDE website.