Education Archive >> 2013 >> By Race/Ethnicity (2013)

In 2012, fewer than 66% of American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Black students graduated on-time.

Education is widely regarded as the great leveler, an “intervention” that pays off in higher wages and better health. Graduation from high school is a prerequisite for higher education and for most living-wage jobs. 

A new method of calculating on-time graduation tracks the same cohort of students through high school. Those who graduate with their class 4 years later are counted as graduating “on time.” To graduate in 2011-12, students had to pass high school proficiency exams in reading and writing; requirements for passing math and science end-of-course exams will be added between 2013 and 2015. 

In King County overall, 79.4% of students in the Class of 2012 graduated “on time” (in 4 years, with the same cohort of students with which they started high school).However, on-time graduation varied considerably by race/ethnicity, ranging from 55.0% for American Indians/Alaska Natives to 84.8% for Whites.

  • American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, Hispanic, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students were least likely to graduate on time.
  • White, Asian, and multiple-race students were most likely to graduate on time.
  • Students who graduate after an additional year of study are added to their cohort’s graduation rolls and reported as “adjusted 5-year cohort rates.”  Statewide, graduation rates for the cohort of Hispanic students who started 9th grade in 2007-2008 increased from 61.0% in 2010-2011 (4-year rate) to 70.4% in 2011-2012 (5-year rate). (Data not shown.)