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Montgomery schools track graduates’ rate of college degrees

Montgomery schools track graduates’ rate of college degrees
Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, May 18, 2010

Montgomery public schools, one of the few systems in the country that tracks its students all the way through college graduation, released a report Monday that details how many of its students went on to receive bachelor’s degrees — and how they got there. According to school system data, students who passed advanced math courses in middle school and high school and took at least one Advanced Placement test were much more likely to graduate from college.

“If you have students who are taking algebra in the eighth grade,” said Montgomery schools spokesman Dana Tofig, “they’re getting college degrees.”

But troubling gaps remain. Slightly more than a quarter of Montgomery’s African American graduates and a fifth of Hispanic graduates received bachelor’s degrees, compared with 58 percent of white students and 55 percent of Asian American students. Even for students who passed Algebra I in eighth grade, 77 percent of white students received bachelor’s degrees compared with two-thirds of African American students and 58 percent of Hispanic students. (Read the full article)