AUSTIN (August 3, 2012)—The state’s on-time high school graduation rate reached an all-time high, increasing 1.6 percent to 85.9 percent for the Class of 2011, the Texas Education Agency said Friday.
The TEA said that more than 92 percent of Class of 2011's 319,588 students graduated in four years or continued high school for a fifth year.
The previous four-year graduation rate record was the Class of 2010's 84.3 percent.
The agency said 2011 was the first graduating class required to take four years of math and science.
“This class was expected to meet higher graduation requirements than any class before it. This group of students not only rose to the challenge but they raised the bar,” said Todd Webster, chief deputy commissioner of TEA.
Deputy director Todd Webster said students not only met that challenge but "raised the bar."
Graduation rates for whites increased 0.4 percent to 92 percent, while 2011 Hispanic graduation rates increased 3 percent to 81.8 percent.
Black student graduation rates rose to 80.9 percent from 78.8 percent in 2010.
Gov. Rick Perry issued a statement Friday saying the record rate is proof that the state’s approach to public education is paying off.
“Leaders across our state understand that high standards, accountable public schools and fiscal responsibility lead to improved educational success,” he said.
“This achievement reflects a lot of hard work, starting with students and teachers in the classroom and continuing through all levels of administration, and the benefits of these efforts will be realized by the students with diploma in hand, as well as all Texans in the years and decades to come."