New figures from the Mass. Department of Education show that the city’s high-school graduation rates, while still low, are climbing.
According to the DOE, Springfield’s graduation rate in 2012 was 56.6 percent, up from 52.1 percent the year before. That’s still well below the statewide rate of 84.7 percent, though—not to mention the rate in some of its well-heeled suburban neighbors, like Longmeadow (97 percent) and Hampden-Wilbraham (94.2).
The report also shows significant gaps in graduation rates by race and gender. Hispanic males, for instance, make up just 7.5 percent of the total Massachusetts high school population but account for 21.3 percent of its drop outs. Hispanic females are 7 percent of the total population and 14.5 percent of drop outs. African American males and females are, respectively, 4.7 and 4.4 percent of the total number of high schoolers and 10.1 and 6.1 percent of those who drop out. Those rates were all improvements over earlier years, though, as was the statewide graduation rate (up from 83.4 percent the previous year).
White kids make up about one-third of the total high school population, with the boys accounting for 26.1 percent of the drop outs and the girls accounting for 16 percent.