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Maryland High Schools Have Some Of The Highest Graduation Rates In The Country

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Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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WASHINGTON (WJZ) –Look for more caps and gowns this spring. A nationwide survey finds Maryland high schools now have some of the highest graduation rates in the country.

Alex DeMetrick reports on the story behind the diplomas.

A study of graduation rates found 80 percent of high school students in the United States make it to this day, but in Maryland, it’s 84 percent.

The secret?

“The effort to raise standards and actually target the needs of students is the way to go and is the lever for change,” said John White, Maryland State Department of Education.

In other words, equipping students with the backgrounds needed for high school.

“We drill drown. It’s the efforts of elementary school teachers and middle school teachers that give the kids the skills they need to handle the higher level courses and the requirements,” said Kenneth Miller, Lansdowne High School principal.

And once here, linking students to classes that point a way forward.

“I think they see high school as an opportunity of where they want to be, and that’s either at the college level or something beyond that,” said Tom Evans, Eastern Technical principal.

But the news isn’t all good. The survey also found schools with high dropout rates have increased in Maryland.

“And that’s definitely an area where we’re going to need to focus even more. Renew our efforts. We have breakthrough centers in our state that target those areas,” White said.

It’s helping at Randallstown High. In the past, WJZ has reported how teachers work with students during and after school.

“The fact that they really get involved and help students out has improved the graduation rates here,” said Brianna Mellerson, Randallstown High School student.

And it helps in schools where graduation rates are already strong like Eastern Tech.

“A lot of my teachers helped me out,” a student said.

The 84 percent graduation rate for Maryland is up from just under 83 percent in previous surveys.

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