The Actual Graduation Rate In NC Isn’t 85.8%

North Carolina Superintendent June Atkinson was recently cited in a WRAL article about the state’s graduation rate.

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina released its latest public school performance data Thursday, showing the state’s graduation rate and school grades improved last year.

he state’s graduation rate increased slightly, from 85.6 percent in 2014-15 to 85.8 percent last school year. This marks the 11th consecutive year that the rate has improved. In 2005-06, the state’s graduation rate was 68.3 percent.

“If I could do a back flip about the graduation rate, I would do that,” State Superintendent June Atkinson told reporters Thursday. (WRAL, 9/1/16)

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) also put out a press release touting the increase in graduation rates.

As this site has previously pointed out, this rate is not the actual graduation rate when one factors in the now famous “career and college readiness” that Common Core was alleged to bring.

The question on last year’s numbers posed by this site was, “how are we graduating nearly 86% when the NC School report card  shows NC students who are “career and college ready” at 47.9% and grade level proficiency at 57.9%?”

The same question should be applied to the current graduation numbers.

The proficiency scale by which students are judged was changed in 2013. As such, according to the data via the NC DPI Accountability model, students who score a 3, 4 or 5 are now considered proficient. Only students scoring a 4 or 5 are considered ‘career and college ready’.

English II Proficiency Career and College Ready 2015-16

English II – Proficiency Rates – Career and College Ready

According to the data for 2015-16, the number of NC students scoring a 4 and 5 for English II was only 50%.

Black students had a proficiency rate of 31.1% and Hispanic students had a rate of  38.9%.

Over 40% of NC students were not at grade level proficiency for English II.

Turning to math, only 48.6% of NC students in the Math I category were considered ‘career and college ready’.

Math 1 Proficiency Career and College Ready 2015-16

Math 1 Proficiency Career and College Ready 2015-16

The grade level proficiency results for Math I was only .2% higher than that of English II, coming in at 59.8%.

Only 26.3% of Black students and 37.1% of Hispanic students were considered ‘career and college ready’ in Math I.


The rate for ‘career and college readiness’ for Black students increased 1.5% from the previous year;s 24.8%. The rate for Hispanic students from last year’s rate of 35.9% by just 1.2%.

The percentage of Black students considered grade level proficient was reported at 38.1% . Hispanic students came in at 49.7%.

The previous year, Black students had a proficiency rate of 38.5%. Compared with this year’s results, that’s only a .4% increase. Hispanic students the previous year had a proficiency rate of 50.1%. Compared with the current results, that’s a decrease of .4%.

So again, the question is asked: How are we graduating at a reported rate of nearly 86% with proficiency rates in English II of 50% and 48.6% for Math I?

What is the actual graduation rate using ‘career and college readiness’ and proficiency as a key factor?

English II Career and College Ready 2015-16

English II Career and College Ready 2015-16

Math I Career and College Ready 2015-16

Math I Career and College Ready 2015-16

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), EDUCATION, EXCLUSIVE, June Atkinson, NC DPI. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Actual Graduation Rate In NC Isn’t 85.8%

  1. Pingback: NC Grade 3-8 EOG Results Show only 46.7% are College Ready | Lady Liberty 1885

  2. Unaffiliated Voter says:

    Can someone find out if and or when the true and accurate history of the early democrackkk party
    is EVER taught in government screwls ? I’ve asked June and she won’t answer…
    Is any history even taught anymore ? What grades ? What kind of history ?

    This is a question that needs a NC democrackkk answer! anyone ?


  3. Kim says:

    Paging Mark Johnson. Where are you? And why is Lady Liberty — and never YOU — always exposing June Atkinson’s record? In a separate note, paging (racist) SJWs. Glad you keep focusing on skin color distribution and NOT reading, writing and arithmetic. How’s that working out for the children you claim to care about?


  4. Sara Wallis says:

    Hi… you’ve shared the overall breakdown and the black and Hispanic numbers, but nothing on whites… can you please link to those numbers? Just curious. Thanks.


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