By now, I am sure you heard the news.  North Carolina’s graduation rate was 80.2 percent, a 2.3 percent increase from a year ago.  There was a 1.9 percent decrease in the percentage of students that met or exceeded growth expectations on state tests.

Here are a few interesting findings:

I examined the End of Grade composite (grades 3-8) pass/proficiency rates for reading and math.  Overall, there was a 0.5 percent increase from 2010-11 to 2011-12.  Compared to last year’s test results, a slightly higher percentage of black (0.9 percent) and Hispanic (0.7 percent) students were proficient in reading and math.  Unfortunately, both groups still have pass rates that hover around 50 percent.  Similarly, there was a small gain (0.9 percent) among low-income students.

The End of Course composite (grades 9-12) pass/proficiency rates for reading and math followed similar trends.  Statewide pass rates for the state, blacks, Hispanics, and low-income students rose this year.

Graduation rates for low-income students jumped by 3.4 percent from a year ago.