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New Data: Vermont Graduation Rate Rising, College Enrollment Lags

A new report  shows that Vermont is making progress toward some key education goals for high school students, but lagging behind the region in other areas. The data have been collected since 2009 using similar metrics and methods by five states in the New England Secondary School Consortium.

According to the report, in 2013 Vermont has improved its high school graduation rates over the past four years, to 86.6 percent—second in new England only to New Hampshire. But there is a wide gap, in Vermont, based on income.  Only 75.2 percent of its economically disadvantaged students graduated from high school in 2013. That’s also the median for New England.

Vermont’s secondary school dropout rate has gone down about two percentage points  since 2009, but it’s still the highest in the region, at 9.6 percent. And for students with economic disadvantages, the dropout rate is 18 percent.

When it comes to college enrollment, Vermont is also facing challenges. It’s been improving, overall, but lands at the bottom of the regional list at 52 percent. And when it comes to college persistence—staying in school—Vermont’s rate dropped from 84.2 percent in 2009 to 80.6 percent in 2013.

The report also tracks the overall performance of students learning the English language, and students with disabilities. Overall, the data do not show sweeping differences among the five New England states. The aim is to help each state pinpoint areas where the most improvement is needed to reach four broad goals: to increase high school graduation rates, decrease dropout rates, increase college entrance, and increase the number of high school graduates ready for college.

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