Colorado’s four-year graduation rate increased slightly with the Class of 2011, up to 73.9 percent, according to data released today by the state Department of Education. In raw numbers, 702 more students graduated in 2011 than in 2010.

Among individual districts, 64 percent or 116 districts achieved a four-year or “on-time” graduation rate of at least 80 percent. The “on-time” rate refers to students who graduate from high school four years after entering ninth grade.

Jefferson County Public Schools reported a slight increase in its on-time rate, up 1 percent to 79.1 percent. Denver Public Schools touted an increase of 4.3 percentage points to 56.1 percent while Douglas County’s rate was 84.2 percent, up from 83.1 percent in 2010.

Rounding out the state’s five largest districts, Cherry Creek’s on-time graduation rate was 84.4 percent, roughly equal to the 84.7 percent rate in 2010, and Adams 12-Five Star reported a four-year rate of 65.3 percent, up 3.6 percentage points over last year.

Pulling apart the data shows girls graduating at higher rates than boys, with a female four-year graduation rate of 77.6 percent compared to a 70.3 percent rate for boys. That 8-point gap is similar to last year’s.

And broad gaps continue based on ethnicity, with Asian students reporting the highest on-time rate of 81.7 percent, white students at 81.1 percent, black students at 64.6 percent and Hispanic students at 60.1 percent. The lowest rate for all races was for Native Americans, at 52.2 percent.

Among ethnic groups, Hispanic students made the great progress from 2010 to 2011, increasing their four-year graduation rate by 4.6 percentage points.

Search our database for state, district and school graduation rates for the past three years, as well as gender and ethnicity gaps for the Class of 2011.

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