Credit: Aaron Kraut

The four-year graduation rate for class of 2015 students in Montgomery County high schools was 89.36 percent, a 0.4 percent decline from the previous year.

The Maryland State Department of Education released statewide graduation rates Friday. The four-year statewide rate for the class of 2015 was 87 percent, the highest mark ever and a 0.6 percent increase from the class of 2014.

In Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), 9,940 of 11,124 students who entered one of the system’s 25 high schools in 2011 graduated in 2015, according to the state data. The 89.36 percent graduation rate is still an improvement over the 86.15 percent four-year graduation rate for the class of 2010.

After being named MCPS superintendent earlier this month, Interim State Superintendent Jack Smith said the wide range of graduation rates by high school is “something we should talk about right away in the community.”

According to the state data, six of the county’s traditionally top-performing high schools—Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Poolesville, Thomas Wootton, Walt Whitman, Walter Johnson and Winston Churchill—all had 2015 graduation rates exceeding 95 percent.

Seven county high schools had 2015 graduation rates less than 85 percent, including Gaithersburg (77.62 percent), John F. Kennedy (79.33 percent) and Northwood (81.03 percent).


“You have quite a significant range in terms of the distribution of graduation rates across 25 schools,” Smith said Feb. 4 during an introductory press conference. The four-year graduation rate for black students in the class of 2015 improved to 86.78 percent from 86.42 percent in 2014. The four-year graduation rate for black students in 2010 was 78 percent.

The graduation rate for Hispanic students in 2015 was 79.64 percent, a slight decline from the 80 percent graduation rate for Hispanic students in 2014.

The greatest improvement in the MCPS class of 2015 came among students who receive free or reduced-priced meals (FARMS), an indicator of poverty.


Of the 2,978 FARMS students who entered high school in 2011, 2,442 (or 82 percent) graduated in 2015, a 1 percent improvement from FARMS students in 2014 and nearly 9 percent increase from FARMS students in 2010.

Ninety-two percent of non-FARMS class of 2015 students graduated in four years.