NC public school graduation rate hits 82.5% - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

NC public school graduation rate hits 82.5%

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina's graduation rate is its highest ever, North Carolina Public Schools announced Thursday.

The 2013 four-year cohort graduation rate is 82.5 percent, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction said, up from the 2012 rate of 80.4 percent. In other words, 82.5 percent of students who started the ninth grade in 2009-10 completed high school in four years or less.

Some students take five years to graduate. That rate was 83.1 percent, up from last year's 81.1 percent.

"Raising graduation rates begins in kindergarten and involves educators at every grade level. This is wonderful news for our principals, teachers, counselors and students. Thanks to all of our educators for their hard work and congratulations on this success," State Superintendent June Atkinson said in a statement.  

North Carolina's graduation rate was a dismal 68 percent in 2006.

Thursday's numbers thrilled educators at the Durham Public Schools, who have seen steady increase. The system graduated 79.6 percent of students in four years.

"We are proud of 80 percent, but we know we still have 20 percent that are out there that we have to help even more and provide even greater supports to," said Jim Key, area superintendent for high schools.

You can see the state's breakdown of the numbers here

The state's four-year graduation rate has risen across all lines since 2006:

Demographic Change
Females From 72.6 to 86.6
Males From 64.0 to 78.6
White From 73.5 to 86.2
Black From 60.4 to 77.5
Hispanic From 52.3 to 75.3
Asian From 75.2 to 89.9
American Indian From 51.1 to 77.3
Economically disadvantaged From 55.6 to 76.1

The improving graduation rate immediately became a question of whether North Carolina's schools were doing better despite recession-era funding cuts that have forced schools to hire fewer teachers even as enrollments increased.

About 1.5 million students attend the state's public schools.

Here is how some of the area school systems fared on their four-year graduation rate:

School system Graduation rate
Chapel Hill-Carrboro 92.6
Lee County 86.4
Chatham County 85.0
Orange County 82.5
Johnston County 82.5
Moore County 81.7
Cumberland County 81.7
Wake County 81.0
Wilson County 79.7
Durham Public Schools 79.6
Nash-Rocky Mount 79.4
Wayne County 77.6
Edgecombe County 77.4
Harnett County 77.1
Granville County 77.1
Person County 76.3
Warren County 75.3
Sampson County 75.0
Vance County
64.9
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