education
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group

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Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

What does this measure?

The number of students graduating after four years of high school, expressed as a percentage of their cohort. A cohort is a class of ninth-graders beginning high school in the same academic year.

Why is this important?

High school graduation is the culmination of a successful K-12 education and the gateway to college or employment. Students who do not graduate face the prospect of unemployment or low-paying jobs. There are persistent gaps in academic achievement among students of different races, ethnicities and incomes.

How is Brookline doing?

In 2021, 95% of the 2017-18 Brookline cohort graduated, higher than the state rate of 90%. This was an increase of 3 percentage points from 2006 for Brookline, compared to a gain of 10 points for the state. Brookline's rate was similar to Newton and Arlington school district rates (96% and 95% respectively) and higher than rates in Cambridge (91%) and Everett (83%).

Brookline district students from low-income backgrounds graduated at a lower rate, 83% in 2021. Graduation rates were higher among Asian (98%) and white (96%) students in 2021, compared to Latino (91%) and African American (86%) students. Massachusetts had similar disparities, but students of all backgrounds graduated at higher rates in Brookline than at the state level.

Since 2006, the Brookline cohort graduation rate for Latino students increased the most (up 9 points), while the rate among African American students declined by 5 points. Rates for Asian, white, and economically disadvantaged students saw small increases of 1 to 2 points.

Why do disparities exist?

Studies point to a variety of factors believed to contribute to disparities in graduation rates and other measures of student achievement. School systems in the United States are highly segregated, and students of color disproportionately attend schools with high proportions of low-income students who may not have benefited from early learning opportunities at the same rate as other students. Schools also have different levels of resources, ranging from qualified/experienced teachers, to advanced courses to facilities and technology, and schools with large Black and Latino populations often have lower levels. In addition, teachers across all school systems tend to be disproportionately white, and teaching practices and curriculum may not be culturally relevant to students of color.

Notes about the data

Students are included in the cohort based on the year they entered Grade 9. Students are transferred in or out of cohorts if they transfer schools. Students who earn a GED or Certificate of Attainment are not counted as graduates. Students are considered economically disadvantaged if their family participates in one or more of the following state-administered programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Transitional Assistance for Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC); the Department of Children and Families' (DCF) foster care program; or MassHealth (Medicaid).

snapshot
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group, 2021
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoLow IncomeWhite
Norfolk County91%96%87%79%80%93%
Essex County90%95%92%83%83%93%
Middlesex County93%97%89%82%84%95%
Massachusetts90%96%84%80%82%93%
Arlington School District, Middlesex County95%98%100%95%87%95%
Brookline School District95%98%86%91%83%96%
Cambridge School District, Middlesex County91%90%88%86%84%95%
Everett School District, Middlesex County83%100%84%77%81%91%
Newton School District, Middlesex County96%98%87%95%86%96%

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
Notes: Years denote 12th grade year for cohort.




Number of Students Graduating from High School, by Student Group, 2021
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoLow IncomeWhite
Norfolk County7,6148845885052,0955,302
Essex County8,0133392192,4733,6724,717
Middlesex County15,7551,9409622,0304,96310,125
Massachusetts66,6554,8215,77011,86127,66441,954
Arlington School District, Middlesex County32939112048244
Brookline School District48385366091259
Cambridge School District, Middlesex County4534512660193183
Everett School District, Middlesex County388248017929194
Newton School District, Middlesex County9661725281179599

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
Notes: Years denote 12th grade year for cohort.






INDICATORS TREND
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
Foreign-Born Population 1
Increasing
Population by Age 1
Increasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
Voter Registration -1
Decreasing
Voter Participation 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Total Jobs 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Living Wage 10 Not Applicable*
Median Household Income 0
Maintaining
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Income in Relation to Poverty Level -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty by Age -1
Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Seniors Living in Poverty 1
Increasing
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Access to Financial Services by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 10 Not Applicable*
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Median Home Value 0
Maintaining
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Homeownership 1
Increasing
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Renting 1
Increasing
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP 1
Increasing
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Food Insecurity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Without Vehicles 1
Increasing
Means of Transportation to Work by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Protected Land 10 Not Applicable*
Percent of Days with Good Air Quality 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate 10 Not Applicable*
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions 10 Not Applicable*
People 65 or Older Living Alone 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 10 Not Applicable*
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*



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