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2.1 High School On-Time (Cohort) Graduation Rate

This indicator is a measure of the percentage of 9th graders who complete their high-school education within four years with their cohort or peer.

This indicator is part of Educated youth.

Indicator description:

The high-school on-time graduation rate is a measure of the percentage of 9th graders who complete their high-school education within four years with their cohort. The State of New Mexico Public Education Department's (NMPED) graduation rates are computed using the "senior cohort" method, which essentially counts the percentage of seniors who graduated by year end. Because other states and school districts use different methodologies to determine graduation rates, data provided by APS are not directly comparable to others. However, third parties have calculated the cohort graduation rate for comparison at the state level. The APS rate is roughly equal to the cohort graduation rate for the entire State of New Mexico, making APS about average in New Mexico, which is the state with the lowest graduation rates in the Southwest, and also well below the national average.


Rollover and click the interactive graphs to make comparisons


Why is this indicator relevant?

The high school graduation rate provides information not only about the actual percentage of students who receive a high school diploma within four years after entering the 9th grade, it also provides information about the performance of the public school system, and the college readiness of students. The 4-year cohort graduation rate tracks individual students over time during their four year high-school career as a cohort, and is adjusted for transfers, dropouts, deaths, etc. Students who do not graduate with their cohort may graduate later, but studies suggest that children who do not graduate with their cohort are much less likely to complete high school. Students who don't earn a high school diploma have fewer job opportunities and lower earning potential, which affects them throughout their lives, and also negatively impacts their families and the community.

Data Sources:

State of Arizona Department of Education, Colorado Department of Education, New Mexico Public Education Department, Oklahoma State Department of Education, Texas Education Agency, Utah State Office of Education, "Diplomas Count National Summary" Education Week 2008 and 2011


What can we tell from the data?

  • Albuquerque's high school on-time graduation rate improved slightly from 2008 to 2009, but has decreased each year since.
  • APS is about average within the State of New Mexico for graduation rate, but New Mexico has the lowest graduation rates of any of the Southwest states.



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