Rhode Island's Graduation Rates Are On The Rise Despite Disparities

Nov 25, 2013

Rhode Island Kids Count is out with an issue brief on the high school graduation rate in Rhode Island.  The latest statistics show that while the four-year graduation rate is increasing, a gap remains between affluent students and their lower-income colleagues.

High school students taking part in a summer math high school program at CCRI.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Rhode Island’s four-year high school graduation rate has been steadily increasing in recent years.  In 2007, 70 percent of high schoolers received a diploma in four years. By 2012 the number had soared to 77 percent. But disparities continue to exist within this overall increase. English Language Learners, students with disabilities and low income students are more likely than middle class white students to drop out.

The lowest graduation rates are in the four core cities of Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence and Woonsocket. For these four cities the four-year graduation rate increased from 56% in 2007 to 66 % in 2012. 

High school graduates are more likely to be employed and have higher incomes than drop outs. Adults without diplomas are more likely to live in poverty, receive public assistance, be involved in criminal activity and have poorer health, according to Kids Count.

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