The graduation rates at Birmingham's high schools continues to top state averages, with nearly 96 percent of Birmingham high school students graduating in four years.
The news comes as part of a new study released last week by the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI), a state office that collects and reports data about Michigan's K-12 public schools.
Last fall, Birmingham's Seaholm High School and Groves High School graduated 588 students in its "four-year cohort" — the group of students who began 9th grade four years before, or in fall 2008.
That's a graduation rate of 95.92 percent, the report reads, and an overall dropout rate of 0.82 percent.
Aside from the students who began high school in 2008, the four-year cohort also includes students who transferred into or within the district before the 2012 graduation. In Birmingham, that cohort was made up of 613 students — 307 at Seaholm and 300 at Groves.
Also included in the study is the number of students held back for a fifth or sixth year of high school, those who graduated early or dropped out, and those students who completed their GED.
According to the data, the students who didn't graduate with their class last spring included seven from Seaholm and 16 from Groves. That brings the four-year graduation rates at Seaholm and Groves to 97.72 percent and 94.67 percent, respectively.
Still, graduation rates in Birmingham far exceeded state averages. Last spring, 76.24 percent of Michigan students graduated in four years, up from 74.33 percent in 2011.
According to CEPI director Thomas Howell, tracking students in four-year cohorts means coming up with more accurate graduation rates.
"These numbers reflect the highest rates we have seen since we started reporting the data using a cohort methodology," Thomas said in a press release.
Overall, more than 53 percent of Michigan school districts saw higher graduation rates in 2012, particularly in the five-year graduation rates for several racial and ethnic groups.
In Birmingham, the dropout rates for nearly every student subgroup — broken down by gender, race and socio-economic levels — did not exceed 5 percent. However, students with disabilities took a hit; for that group, the four-year graduation rate in Birmingham was 82.61 percent.
"This is more positive news for Michigan public schools," said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan in a press release. "This is reflective of how our teachers and students are succeeding with the rigorous Michigan Merit curriculum and being better prepared to continue Michigan's economic comeback."
For more information on enrollment at Seaholm and Groves, including the number of students who stayed in school for five or six years to earn a diploma, visit www.mischooldata.org.
Meanwhile, how does Birmingham's graduation rates compare with nearby districts?School District Students in
graduated in spring 2012
Graduation RateBloomfield Hills 750 724 96.53 percent Birmingham 613 588 95.92 percent Rochester 1,226 1,148 93.64 percent West Bloomfield 533 488 91.56 percent Troy 968 874 90.29 percent
All data courtesy of the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information.