Graduation Rate Declines in Fairfax Co.

Leah Fabel, Examiner, October 21, 2009

The graduation rate for Hispanic students in Northern Virginia remained far below that of other students, despite pockets of improvement, according to numbers released Tuesday by the state’s Department of Education.

In Fairfax, the state’s largest district, 73 percent of Hispanic students graduated with the class of 2009, down from 74 percent in 2008. About 95 percent of their white peers earned a diploma.

In Alexandria, 65 percent of Hispanic students reached the academic milestone, compared with 87 percent of white students. Even so, that’s up from 58 percent for the class of 2008. In Arlington, the rate jumped to 69 percent from 64 percent, while 96 percent of white students graduated.

The dropout rate of Hispanic students topped 20 percent for the class of 2009 in all areas but Loudoun County, with the majority quitting school by their junior year.

Overall graduation rates in the Virginia suburbs improved last year in all but Fairfax County, where it fell slightly to about 90 percent for the more than 13,000 students who entered the class of 2009. In 2008, about 91 percent of students graduated.

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