Brunswick County graduation rates continue to rise

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By Sam Hickman

 Brunswick County Schools keep making strides toward the goal of producing college and career-ready high school graduates, based on the latest figures from the State Board of Education.

The graduation rate for the system has increased from 72.5 percent to 85.7 percent, a 13.2 percent increase since 2007, according to the report released Thursday, Aug. 8. Data shows Brunswick County exceeds the overall state graduation rate of 82.5 percent.

Brunswick County’s numbers also exceed the North Carolina average in eight of the 11 subgroups reported: all students, male, female, Asian, black, Hispanic, two or more races, white, economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient and students with disabilities.

“This reflects hard work by students and teachers, and great support from parents and guardians,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Pruden said in a news release.

Board of Education Chairman Charles Miller agreed.

“The dedication of staff and benefit of family support systems are paying off. Graduation is a major accomplishment and students in Brunswick County are realizing with hard word they can achieve this goal,” Miller said in the release.

Male students in Brunswick County graduated at an 83.3-percent clip while the state average is 78.6 percent. Female students in Brunswick County also graduated above the state average, 88 percent to 86.6 percent across North Carolina.

Brunswick County enjoyed one of its most dramatic percentage increases over the state average in the subgroup of black students. Black students in Brunswick County graduated at an impressive 92.2 percent mark while the average for the Tar Heel State is 77.5 percent.

These most recent numbers show 86.7 percent of Hispanic students graduate, representing an 11.4 percent increase over the state average.

In the limited English-proficient subgroup, Brunswick County Schools graduated 71.4 percent of those students against a statewide average of less than 50 percent. This was the county’s largest percentage increase, a mark of 22.6 percent.

Overall, students with disabilities graduated at a 62-percent rate in Brunswick County. The state average is 62.3 percent.

The Early College High School graduated 100 percent of its students in 2013, while South Brunswick High School graduated the second largest percentage of students, 88.5. This was a 2-percent drop from South’s 2012 rate, 90.5.

North Brunswick also had a dip in graduation rates from 2012 to 2013, from 89.5 percent a year ago to 86.4 in 2013.

Brunswick County Academy graduated 58.5 percent of its students in 2012 to 46.7 percent in 2013.

West Brunswick High School had a slight increase in graduation numbers from 2012 to 2013, but the 2013 mark is a 10.8-percent increase from its mark in 2010.

Pruden said the system’s trend is heading in the right direction, but more work needs to be done.

“It is important the work and the support systems necessary for students to achieve success continue so that all children can graduate college- and career-ready,” he said.


Sam Hickman is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or shickman@brunswickbeacon.com.