Education
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group

Increasing


High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group, 2021

What does this measure?

The number of students graduating after four years of high school, expressed as a percentage of their cohort. A cohort is a class of ninth-graders beginning high school in the same academic year.

Why is this important?

High school graduation is the culmination of a successful K-12 education and the gateway to college or employment. Students who do not graduate face the prospect of unemployment or low-paying jobs. There are persistent gaps in academic achievement among students of different races, ethnicities and incomes.

How is our region doing?

In 2021, 92% of the 2017 cohort graduated in MetroWest, a bit higher than the state rate (90%). This was an increase of 6 percentage points since 2006 for the region, compared to a gain of 10 points for the state. Twenty-four districts in the region had graduation rates of 95% or higher, with Harvard reporting 100% and Hopkinton 99%. Four districts had graduation rates below 90%: Milford (86%), Maynard (88%), Framingham (89%) and Hudson (89%).

Students in the region from low-income backgrounds graduated at a lower rate, 83% in 2021. While 97% of Asian students and 93% of white students in the 2017 cohort graduated in 2021, rates were somewhat lower among African American and Hispanic students (89% and 83%, respectively). Massachusetts had similar disparities, but low-income, African American and Hispanic students graduated at higher rates in MetroWest than at the state level.

Since 2006 in the region, cohort graduation rates for Hispanic students increased the most (up 15 points), followed by low-income students (up 12 points). Rates for African American and Asian students also improved (up 11 and 6 points), while white students made smaller gains (5 points).

Why do these disparities exist?

Studies point to a variety of factors believed to contribute to disparities in graduation rates and other measures of student achievement. School systems in the United States are highly segregated, and students of color disproportionately attend schools with high proportions of low-income students who may not have benefited from early learning opportunities at the same rate as other students. Schools also have different levels of resources ranging from qualified/experienced teachers to advanced courses to facilities and technology, and schools with large Black and Latino populations often have lower levels. In addition, teachers across all school systems tend to be disproportionately white, and teaching practices and curriculum may not be culturally relevant to students of color.

Notes about the data

Students are included in the cohort based on the year they entered Grade 9. Students are transferred in or out of cohorts if they transfer schools. Students who earn a GED or Certificate of Attainment are not counted as graduates. Students are considered economically disadvantaged if their family participates in one or more of the following state-administered programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Transitional Assistance for Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC); the Department of Children and Families' (DCF) foster care program; or MassHealth (Medicaid).

High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group, 2021
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoLow IncomeWhite
Massachusetts90%96%84%80%82%93%
Region92%97%89%83%83%93%
Middlesex93%97%89%82%84%95%
Norfolk91%96%87%79%80%93%
Worcester91%98%91%84%84%92%
Acton-Boxborough School District97%100%100%100%88%95%
Ashland School District97%100%100%85%91%98%
Bedford School District96%100%92%100%86%94%
Bellingham School District94%71%92%94%
Concord-Carlisle School District98%96%100%100%100%98%
Dedham School District92%100%94%79%81%94%
Dover-Sherborn School District96%93%100%96%
Foxborough Regional Charter97%91%100%100%96%
Framingham School District85%94%86%73%78%89%
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential92%80%91%
Franklin School District95%100%100%82%83%96%
Harvard School District99%100%90%100%
Holliston School District94%100%50%70%95%
Hopkinton School District99%100%100%97%99%
Hudson School District83%46%64%89%
Innovation Academy Charter89%88%100%90%84%87%
Lexington School District97%99%93%96%92%96%
Lincoln-Sudbury School District97%100%100%83%83%97%
Littleton School District95%100%86%94%
Marlborough School District86%78%82%82%92%
Maynard School District85%56%88%
Medfield School District97%100%86%96%
Medway School District97%100%100%87%96%
Milford School District82%79%71%73%86%
Millis School District96%100%100%88%95%
Nashoba School District96%100%88%96%
Natick School District95%100%91%84%84%96%
Needham School District97%100%75%100%88%98%
Walpole School District94%100%90%89%82%94%
Waltham School District82%91%85%72%77%90%
Wayland School District98%100%100%100%100%97%
Wellesley School District97%100%83%93%86%97%
Westborough School District97%100%89%87%88%98%
Westford School District97%98%91%87%97%
Weston School District98%100%100%100%94%97%
Westwood School District98%100%100%100%84%98%

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
Notes: Years denote 12th grade year for cohort.




Number of Students Graduating from High School, by Student Group, 2021
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoLow IncomeWhite
Massachusetts66,6554,8215,77011,86127,66441,954
Region32,2963,3312,0404,06210,81121,372
Middlesex15,7551,9409622,0304,96310,125
Norfolk7,6148845885052,0955,302
Worcester8,9275074901,5273,7545,946
Acton-Boxborough School District427143111953229
Ashland School District2102162252150
Bedford School District18117122536116
Bellingham School District151547131
Concord-Carlisle School District30927141431242
Dedham School District1736152256124
Dover-Sherborn School District1691420141
Foxborough Regional Charter6310241722
Framingham School District5213043114258316
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential55850
Franklin School District4393391460372
Harvard School District9813976
Holliston School District19215319168
Hopkinton School District327441132264
Hudson School District1431045128
Innovation Academy Charter8771192159
Lexington School District527201142473253
Lincoln-Sudbury School District37830142040307
Littleton School District10610688
Marlborough School District2477125138107
Maynard School District73967
Medfield School District194925170
Medway School District15313926127
Milford School District2531162120159
Millis School District88662173
Nashoba School District230929211
Natick School District39321102766311
Needham School District4193661942342
Walpole School District2651591653217
Waltham School District3601946132197155
Wayland School District22840111023152
Wellesley School District37852101436280
Westborough School District3107482060198
Westford School District4371021048299
Weston School District164296817110
Westwood School District2412071021204

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
Notes: Years denote 12th grade year for cohort.




INDICATORS TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Maintaining
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Decreasing
School Spending Per Student Maintaining
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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