To calculate on-time graduation, the same cohort of students is tracked throughout high school. Those who graduate with their class 4 years after beginning 9th grade are counted as graduating “on time.” To graduate in 2011-12, students had to pass high school proficiency exams in reading and writing; by 2015, requirements for passing math and science end-of-course exams had been added.
In King County overall, 80% of students in the Class of 2015 graduated on time (in 4 years, with the same cohort of students with which they started high school). However, the proportion of King County students who started high school in the 2010-2011 school year and graduated with their class in 2015 varied by gender, race/ethnicity, English language proficiency, homelessness, special education status, and family income (students who qualified for free or reduced-price school meals were considered low-income).
- On-time graduation rates for Blacks, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and American Indians/Alaska Natives Asians were all at or below 65%, trailing the rates for Asians (88%) and whites (86%) by at least 20%.
- 77% of males graduated on time, compared to 83% of females.
- 54% of students with limited English proficiency graduated on time.
- 57% of special education students graduated on time.
- 49% of homeless students graduated on time in 2015, up from 36% in 2013.