The four-year graduation rate at Royal Oak High School was 90.64 percent in 2012, according to statistics released this month by the State of Michigan's Center for Educational Performance and Information.
Of the 374 Royal Oak High School students set to earn their diplomas within four years in 2012, 339 (90.64 percent) graduated. A total of 13 students (less than 5 percent) dropped out at some point during their high school career.
In 2011, the four-year graduation rate was 89.83 percent; the dropout rate was 5.81 percent.
"I am pleased with the improvement in the four-year rate. I am equally proud of the fact that our five year rate jumps to over 95 percent; if a student is not successful in four years we continue to work with them," said Supt. Shawn Lewis-Lakin.
Lewis-Lakin said the district has students who graduate from Royal Oak High School in four years with multiple post-secondary credits, sometimes beginning college with sophomore status.
"We also have students who need added support and time to earn their diploma," said Lewis-Lakin. "I am proud of the efforts we make to meet the needs of all students."
The results in Royal Oak followed statewide trends showing an increase in four-year graduates. Across Michigan, four-year graduation rates for students expected to graduate last spring increased to 76.24 percent, up 1.9 percent from the 2011 rate of 74.33.
Students are divided into "cohorts"—a combination of students who began ninth grade in the district four years prior, and including students who transferred in or our within the four year period. So for 2012 graduates, the cohort includes students who began at Royal Oak High School in 2008, or transferred into the district before 2012 graduation.
The state also tracks students who were off track for four-year graduation but continuing their education, those who graduated or dropped out past the four-year mark, and those who completed their GED, or reached the maximum special education age.
“These numbers reflect the highest rates we have seen since we started reporting the data using a cohort methodology,” said CEPI director Thomas Howell. “This methodology allows us to track individual students from the first time they enroll as ninth-graders and has resulted in a more accurate measure of high school success for our students.”
More than 53 percent of Michigan’s school districts saw higher graduation rates. The largest increase in graduation rates throughout a five-year period were seen in several racial and ethnic groups. According to the report, rates for black students reached 59.93 percent last year, an increase of 3.64 percent since 2008. Hispanic student rates were at 64.3 percent, up 3.97 percent. This year’s rate reflects that 73.52 percent of multiracial students graduated in four years, increasing the annual rate by 3.52 percent since 2008.
“This is more positive news for Michigan public schools,” said state superintendent Mike Flanagan. “This is reflective of how our teachers and students are succeeding with the rigorous Michigan Merit Curriculum and being better prepared to continue Michigan’s economic comeback. We must stay on this positive course and keep our standards high and Michigan Merit Curriculum intact.”