N.J. High School Graduation Rate Increases for Second Year, to 87.5 Percent

December 4, 2013

New Jersey's high school graduation rate rose slightly again last year, to 87.5 percent statewide, Department of Education officials said this morning.

The one percent increase represented the second in a row since new, federally mandated rules for calculating the rate were imposed in 2011.

"The increase is significant," said Justin Barra, a chief policy and external affairs officer, at the state Board of Education's regular meeting in Trenton. "It is an actual increase that reflects the hard work of our districts."

There were 4,452 drop outs in 2013, down from 5,282 in 2011.

The data, however, reveals some disparities, Barra said. For example, 77.1 percent of economically disadvantaged students graduated in four years, compared to 91.8 percent of non-economically disadvantaged students.

About 76.4 percent of African-American students, 78.6 percent of Hispanic students and 95.9 percent of Asian students graduated in four years, compared to 93.1 percent of white students. There was growth in each of those categories.

Board members unanimously approved new regulations for new high school equivalency exams, including naming three vendors to provide computerized and pencil and paper tests. Those new exams will be administered beginning next month.

Go here for links to the data by school, county and district.