BALTIMORE (WMAR) — Baltimore City Public Schools four-year graduation rate decreased in 2019, according to a new report released by the Maryland Department of Education.
Last year was the first for newer graduation requirements in schools throughout the state.
The report found that approximately 70.3 percent of the 4,955 students in the Class of 2019 graduated in four years, 1.9 percent less than in 2018.
All demographic groups experienced a drop in their graduation rate compared to 2018. English language learners were most impacted with a 10-point decrease.
Last year's class was the first since 2016 to earn a required minimum score on the Maryland High School assessment in English or complete a Bridge Plan for Academic Validation. Students that completed Algebra 1 after ninth-grade were required to earn a minimum score or complete a Bridge Plan for Academic Validation.
The good news is a third of city high schools actually increased their four-year graduation rates, as did the district's five-year program, which increased slightly by .02 percent to 75 percent overall. Four-year graduations have also increased by 8.8 percentage overall since 2010.
To improve the graduation rate, city schools says students in sixth, eighth, ninth, and twelfth grades are completing plans to ensure that their academic path aligns with their post-secondary goals. Students will also have an individualized student plan going into next school year.