Maine graduation rate on the rise

National report puts Maine at #16 in the nation

AUGUSTA – Maine’s Class of 2008 had the 16th highest graduation rate in the nation, according to a report released today by Education Week. Maine’s rate, as calculated by Education Week, was 76.5 percent, compared to a national average of 71.7 percent.

“It’s good news, but it also points out how far we have to go,” said Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen. “We’re still fifth among the six New England states, and our rate of increase, while good, is slower than the national average.”

Maine’s rate increased by 4.9 percentage points in 10 years; the national increase was 6.1 percentage points.

Last year, Maine moved to a new common method for calculating the graduation rate that, as of this year, is shared by all 50 states. Comparisons among states will be even more accurate starting next year.

The news came on the same day that Bowen awarded the Maine State Diploma to six students who completed their education after disruptions that made it impossible to receive a diploma from any high school they attended in the past.

“It’s an example of how we need to reach every child and find a path that works for him or her to complete their education,” Bowen said. “That means relevant learning, high expectations, and giving students more control over their educational path. When they are involved and have a stake in it, they are more likely to succeed.”

For more information on Maine’s graduation rates, see: http://www.maine.gov/education/gradrates/index.html. (Note that the numbers found here cannot be compared to the Education Week numbers, as they are calculated using a different methodology. The numbers can be used to compare Maine schools and also to compare 2010 figures to 2009 figures in Maine.)

For more information, visit the Maine Department of Education website: http://www.maine.gov/education

Contact:   David Connerty-Marin, 207-624-6880

– 30 –