The Class of 2020 is experiencing a graduation season like no other. Unfortunately, COVID-19 concerns have precluded many beloved senior traditions. Still, distanced celebrations have a re-drawn focus on the accomplishments of this year’s high school seniors. Cities are showing off their pride with celebrations like socially-distanced parades and virtual commencements.
All communities can be proud of their students. Metro counties, where social factors and high populations provide extra challenges to graduation, can be especially proud of graduates. Now, thanks to a new study from the United Way, we can see, and celebrate which metro counties have the highest graduation rates across the country.
The study which analyzed graduating statistics for counties with at least 75,000 residents showed some interesting statistics.
First, a couple of special counties deserve special noting for perfection!. Three metro districts, Howard County in Nebraska, Falls Church County in Virginia, and Oldham County in Texas scored 100% graduation rates. Districts in the counties had such programs as public school foundations and counseling and psychological services for students.
But these two districts weren’t alone in their high achievement. According to the survey, over 20 of the metro districts that were top-scoring in their states maintained graduation rates above 95%. Some other statistics also emerged. The top regional metro county with the lowest graduation rate was D.C, with a 72% graduation rate. While D.C. county was slightly different from other counties in that it stood alone in its region for comparison, this is still a surprising number.D.C.’s 72% graduation rate is especially surprising when one considers that one of the top metro counties, Falls Church County directly neighbors D.C. Factors like race, socioeconomic status, and community benefits may contribute to these gaps in graduation rates.