In the News

2012-2020 Drop-Out Rate Decrease Best in the State

The District’s 2020 drop-out rate is three percent, representing a 70 percent decline since 2012, which is the highest drop- out rate decrease in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts during that time period.

“This is very significant no matter how you look at it,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick. “We are leading the State and that is a direct result of a concentrated, pin-pointed effort of a large cadre of dedicated educators working hard to keep more of our kids in school regardless of what other priorities they have juggled during those eight years.”

Warwick made his comments following the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) release of 2020 graduation and drop-out data statewide. Though DESE did not publicize results with a news release as in the past, the data is posted on the DESE website.

In addition, the Springfield Public Schools (SPS) graduation rate has increased 20.4 percentage points since 2012, among the highest graduation rate increase in the state.  The four-year graduation rate is now 77 percent. 

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “I want to applaud Superintendent Dan Warwick, his leadership team, our principals and administrators, the School Committee, and especially all of our teachers and staff for their continued dedicated efforts working with our students and their families.  I also want to acknowledge our parents and families for their efforts with our children."  

"Since taking office in 2008, my administration has prioritized not only building new schools and improving the physical plants of others but has focused on the ‘key’ that ties everything together for economic prosperity, social equity, and public safety, which is education, education, education,"  Mayor Sarno added.  “Thanks to everyone’s collaborative efforts, our Springfield Public Schools continue to trend in a positive direction.  The District’s 2020 graduation rate has increased 20 percent since 2012, among the highest rate in the State.  Meanwhile, our 2020 drop-out rate his decreased to three percent, a 70 percent decline since 2012, the highest mark in the state for that time – a testament to the hard work put in by all.  Education is so important and having these significant improvements in these numbers as recently reported by DESE is very encouraging.”   

Said School Committee Vice Chairman Christopher Collins: “This is certainly wonderful news for the students of Springfield Public Schools to continue the significant decrease in the drop-out rate. Students cannot learn if they are not in school and I congratulate everyone within the District who has worked so hard to increase the graduation rate and decrease the drop-out rate. They have served the City of Springfield and our students with expertise and excellence.”

Superintendent Warwick pointed out the continuing graduation rate progress of the High School of Science and Technology, Central High School and Roger L. Putnam Vocational-Technical Academy. The High School of Science and Technology is now at 85.4 percent graduation rate, Central is at 88.4 percent and Putnam is at 97.6 percent. In 2012, they were at 39.9 percent, 74.6 percent, and 71.1 percent, respectively.

The drop-out rates at those schools also fell significantly, according to data released by DESE. The High School of Science and Technology experienced a drop from 11.6 percent in 2012 to 2 percent in 2020; Central High School’s drop-out rate decreased from 7.7 percent to 1.6 percent for the same time period and Putnam went from 5.1 percent to 0.8 percent.

Overall, Springfield Public Schools’ work to ensure more students remain in school translates to 460 fewer students dropping out in 2020 compared to 2012.

Warwick also pointed out the graduation rate of English Language Learners in the District, which at 70.4 percent exceeds the State’s rate for English Language Learners by 2.1 percentage points. “We continue to narrow the education gap, but we have more work to do, and we remain as focused as we have been,” he said.

According to information released by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the 2020 State graduation rate increased from 88 to 89 percent over the last year; compared to the district’s increase from 73.8 to 77 percent; and the state drop-out rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points over the last year, compared to a 1.4 percentage point decrease for SPS. The state’s new graduation rate is 89 percent, and its drop-out rate is 1.6 percent.

Warwick continues to credit initiatives such as identifying students at risk for dropping out early and providing the necessary academic and social/emotional supports; the expansion of alternative and flexible pathways to graduation, such as on-line credit recovery courses; the addition of graduation coaches; ninth and tenth grade academies; a ninth-grade transition course at every high school; and offering free night and summer school courses as programs that have successfully translated into keeping kids in school longer. 

“We have established many best practices and we will continue to innovate as we move forward,” he said.

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm