RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — While most area school districts saw their graduation rates either improve or remain the same in 2018, Richmond Public Schools saw its rate decline to the lowest in the state.
New data released by the Virginia Department of Education this week shows the on-time graduation rate for RPS students fell to 75.4 percent this year, down from 76.9 percent in 2017 when it posted the state’s second-worst rate.
The new report also indicates a 20 percent dropout rate — up from 17.6 percent last year — which suggests that one in five students who began high school in 2014 dropped out.
“This data is not a reflection of our students’ abilities,” Superintendent Jason Kamras said in a release. “It’s a reflection of our failure to provide them with the education they deserve.
“My administration is committed to changing this – once and for all – for every young person in RPS.” — RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras.
Despite the overall decline, RPS saw notable gains among English Language Learners with graduation rates increasing nearly 16 percent and the dropout rate decreasing by 14 percent.
“We are optimistic about the increase in graduation rates that we’re seeing with the ELL student population, but it’s imperative that we see this same growth across the district,” School Board Chair Dawn Page said. “I’m confident that with the new strategic plan in place, we are moving in the right direction to properly address this issue.”
The on-time graduation rates for Virginia students statewide, meanwhile, increased half a percentage point to 91.6 percent in 2018.