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Missouri changes calculation for graduation rates

State education officials will soon release new graduation rates for all Missouri high schools, based on a recent federal regulation requiring all states to begin calculating their rates in a uniform manner. Historically, states have calculated graduation rates using varying methods, creating inconsistent information from one state to the next.

The new rate is defined as the percentage of freshmen who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma. Missouri’s previous graduation rate was based primarily on whether students graduate as opposed to when they graduate. Under the new calculation, students who take longer than four years to graduate will not be counted in the graduation rate.

Key points about this change include: 

  • The new, four-year graduation rate provides a more uniform way to compare graduation rates among schools across the country.
  • Because of the way the new rate is calculated, most Missouri high school graduation rates will likely go down, including those in Parkway. However, this does not mean more students are dropping out of school. It is simply a different way of calculating the graduation rate to create a uniform standard nationwide.
  • While we hope all students will graduate from high school within four years, Parkway recognizes some students need additional time to complete their requirements and prepare for life after school. We will continue to work with those families and students who need more than the traditional four years to get their diploma.
  • Although Missouri is calculating graduation rates differently now, Parkway's focus on student success has not changed. Every student counts, and our goal is for every student to graduate.

For more information, visit the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s “Top 10 by 20” website at http://dese.mo.gov/four-year-grad-rate.html