Erie Vital Signs

Student Achievement: Graduation Rates

Recent Performance

This trend is mixed or inconclusive.

For the last four years, Erie County’s average graduation rate has consistently been above the statewide average. For the 2013-14 school year, Erie’s schools averaged an 87.0% graduation rate compared to the PA average of 85.3%. Erie’s rate has varied in the 87% - 89% range over that time while PA was in the 83% - 85% range. The corresponding national rates have been 79% - 81%, so PA is beating the national rate, and most Erie school districts are beating it by a significant amount.

While graduation rates vary across Erie school districts, every district in the county beat the PA average in each of the last four years—except the City of Erie school district. Moreover, the City’s graduation rate has been falling since its 2010-11 rate of 81.5%, down to the 2013-14 rate of just 73.2%. Clearly, the City’s rate needs improvement. Of the other twelve school districts in the county, nine had graduation rates above 90% in 2013-14, with General McLane hitting a stellar 98.9%. Most Erie school districts are doing very well at getting our students through high school on time.

The district-level data for school districts within Erie County are listed in the table below

The Basics

This indicator is the “four-year cohort graduation rate” which measures the percentage of students that entered the high school as freshmen and graduated four years later with a regular diploma (not GED.) This measurement is used to determine how many students are continuing with their high school education to the end and finishing on time. It takes into account the number of students who have transferred into the graduating class as well as the number of students that have transferred out during the four years.

Why It's Important

We know that job prospects, income, and several other important measures are tied to a person’s level of education. Dropping out of high school typically affects a student’s prospects in a significant and negative way. Completing high school is also the prerequisite for further education. Therefore high school graduation rates are an important measure of how well a community is doing, and will do in the future.

The Details

The four-year cohort graduation rate measures students graduating in four years with a regular diploma (not GED). It is calculated as the number of graduates divided by (the number of first-time 9th graders four years earlier minus transfer out plus transfers in.)

The Nitty-Gritty Details

PA Department of Education, 4-Year Cohort Graduation Rate Frequently Asked Questions


None, although the database from the Pennsylvania Department of Education provides graduation rate data by gender, race/ethnicity, English Language Learners, Economically Disadvantaged, and Special Education students.

Peer Areas

This indicator is provided for the 13 individual school districts in Erie County, as well as the State of Pennsylvania.




PA Department of Education, 4-Year Cohort Graduation Rate

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