Students at the Cape area’s two vocational technical schools enjoy the highest graduation rate. 97.5% of students at Upper Cape Tech graduate while 95.6% graduate from Cape Cod Tech in Harwich. Graduation rate data for the 2012-13 school year was obtained from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
Nauset Regional High School and Sturgis Charter Public School both enjoyed a 92.3% overall graduation rate.
At the other end of the scale, only 75% of students graduated from Wareham last year. Mashpee graduated only 83.3% and Barnstable 85.3%.
The state average for overall graduation rate is 85%.
Looking at three of the “disadvantaged” sub-groups – students with disabilities, low income students and high need students – the two vo-tech schools best served these populations. Cape Tech graduated 98.1% of students with disabilities and 96.1% of high needs students. Upper Cape Tech graduated 100% of its disabled students and 97.8% of its high needs students.
Sturgis Charter deeply embarrassed itself by graduating only 66.7% of its low income students – the worst low income graduation rate in the area. On the other hand, Upper Cape Tech graduated 96.8% of their low income students. State-wide, the graduation rate among low income students is 73.6%.
State-wide graduation rates are 67.8% for students with disabilities and 74.7% for students classified high need.
Non-white students graduation rates are a humiliation
If there’s a scandal in this report, it’s the appallingly low graduation rates for American Indian students anywhere in Massachusetts. Only two Cape area towns have Native American cohorts large enough to show on the state report. In Barnstable only 50% of the native population graduates. In Mashpee, home of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, only 70% of natives graduate.
Barnstable’s native graduation rate is second-lowest in Massachusetts after Worcester. Mashpee’s native graduation rate of 70% is second highest after Boston.
Most challenged in its teaching of African American students is Wareham, where only 57.7% of black students graduate. Barnstable is next lowest with a 72.4% graduation rate among African Americans. Barnstable also trails the Cape in Hispanic graduations at only 68.8%.
Monomoy and Cape Tech lead the Cape with a 100% graduation rate among African American students.
State-wide, 90.1% of white students graduate. African American students scored a 73.8% graduate rate, Hispanic 66.8% and American Indian/Alaska Native 73%.
Sturgis Charter’s deeply embarrassing performance with low-income students is cited above – and is worth mentioning twice. Many people incorrectly accuse Sturgis of a bias against low income students. This indicator lends fuel to that fire. Only 28 of the 487 Massachusetts school districts had a worse low-income graduation rate than Sturgis.
The new Monomoy Regional School District’s graduation rate of 89.8% is only marginally better than neighboring Dennis-Yarmouth’s 88.0%. Monomoy does better than DY with disabled students (70% graduation rate versus DY’s 65.4%) but stumbles with low income students (72.7%) and high needs students (73.0%).
Being an English Language Learner is apparently not an impediment to graduation at Barnstable, which 94.4% of ELL students graduate – versus 88.0% of all students at Barnstable High School. Only 63.5% of English Language Learners graduate state-wide.