Baltimore County Schools See Decline In Graduation Rates, Increase In Dropouts


Among the highlights of MDSE's report was Towson High School, which maintained a graduation rate above 95% (Credit: Van Fisher/Patch)

BALTIMORE COUNTY - The five-year graduation rate for students at Baltimore County Public Schools declined during the 2021-2022 school year and sat below the state average, according to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

MSDE released the four-year and five-year graduation rate calculations for all schools in Maryland, with the most recent data coming from students who entered high school during the 2018-2019 school year.

The BCPS five-year graduation rate was 87.6 percent—down 1.7 percentage points from the previous year and 1.4 percentage points lower than the state rate (89.0 percent).

According to BCPS Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams, these numbers are concerning but in line with schools across the country.

“The small decrease in the BCPS graduation rate, while concerning, conforms with graduation rate decreases seen both statewide and in several school systems across the nation,” Williams said.

The dropout rate for the Class of 2022 also increased. 9.6 percent of 2022 students dropped out, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from last year. Williams said that most of these concerning statistics could be attributed to the pandemic.

“BCPS students who graduated in 2022, the largest cohort of seniors in the last three years, dealt with pandemic-related disruptions and challenges for most of their high school experience,” Williams said. “We are confident that with targeted strategies and supports for our middle and high school cohorts, our graduation rate will resume a positive trajectory.”

Not every school saw a decline in graduation rates. Among schools, the biggest gain was at Randallstown High School, where the graduation rate increased by 10.6 percentage points from last year to 88.1 percent.

Many schools maintained graduation rates above 90%, including Eastern Technical High School (99.3 percent); George W. Carver Center for the Arts and Technology (99.2 percent), Hereford High School (96.9 percent); Pikesville High School (95.3); Towson High School (95.2).

“We recognize that we have a lot of work to do to ensure all students graduate on time and ready for college and careers, but the significant gains at Randallstown and Overlea are an encouraging sign that we are on the right path,” Williams said. “We continue to offer expanded academic resources and support to students either during the school day, after school, Saturdays, and through our summer programs. I know that as we continue to focus on meeting the individual needs of our students, we will make progress in the years to come.”

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