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Graduation rate reaches new record high

CMSD’s four-year graduation rate has reached 80.1 percent, yet another in a series of record highs for the District.

The graduation rate appeared on the District’s new state report card, which was released Sept. 15. Graduation data lags a year behind other report card measurements, so it is for the Class of 2019.

Many other report card metrics, including an overall grade, are incomplete or unavailable because the state ordered school buildings to close in March to contain the spread of COVID-19.

CMSD’s graduation rate has ranked among the fastest growing in the state. The rate has soared 27.9 points since 2011, the year before The Cleveland Plan, a customized blueprint for education reform in the city, took effect.

The graduation rates for African-American and Hispanic students have also been climbing and are above those for the District as a whole. According to the report card, the rate for African-American students rose from 79.8 percent to 80.9 percent and is up 23.9 points since 2011. The rate for Hispanic students increased from 77 percent to 82.6 percent and is up 28.9 points since 2011.

CEO Eric Gordon has called the graduation rate the truest measure of a school district’s performance and how well it is preparing students for college and career.

Last year’s report card showed that CMSD’s increases in K-3 literacy improvement and performance index – a composite of all test scores – were among the most impressive in the state.

Last year, CMSD’s overall grade increased from an F to a D, but CEO Gordon said the improvement was only a beginning.