CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia students with disabilities are graduating from high school at a greater percentage than the national average, according to Diplomas Count 2015: Next Steps-Life After Special Education. The 2015 report focuses on students with disabilities as it examines the challenges and opportunities as they transition from PreK-12 education to postsecondary education and the workplace.
The report, released June 4, used data from the U.S. Department of Education’s office of special education programs to report that nearly 73 percent of West Virginia students with disabilities ages 14 to 21 exited high school with a regular diploma in the 2012-2013 school year. The national average for the same group of students was about 65 percent. The graduation rate for the 2013 graduation cohort was 62 percent for students with disabilities. This is the tenth edition of Diplomas Count and the first time the Education Week Research Center has used the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate, which is the calculated rate required for states to use as a primary source of graduation data by the federal government.
The report also shows that more than 97 percent of West Virginia students with disabilities spend over 40 percent of the school day in regular classrooms
, compared to a national rate of about 92 percent.
Overall, the state’s graduation rate for 2013 rose to 81 percent, up from 78 percent in 2011, and 79 percent in 2012.
Diplomas Count is published annually by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center and Education Week, a national education magazine.