Michigan's high school graduation rates have hit a record high despite the addition of the tougher, one-size-fits-all Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) requirements. High school graduation rates in 2012 were up 1.9 percent from 2011, bringing the statewide percentage to 76.24 percent, the highest-ever percentage recorded by the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI) using its current methodology. The class of 2012 was the second to go through the more rigorous MMC graduation standards.
Lee High School's graduation rate in 2012 far exceeded the state-wide average 94.03% graduating on time and a paltry dropout rate of only 4.48%. Black and Hispanic students at Lee have graduation rates that exceed 95% and dropout rates that are negligible. The statewide rate for Black students is 59.93% and for Hispanic students, 64.3%. It's important to remember that in a small high school such as Lee, one or two students graduating on time or dropping out can impact the percentages more significantly than larger high schools.
East Lee Campus, our alternative high school that provides a last-chance opportunity to students who interrupted their education or fell behind for a variety of reasons, has continued to improve with a 4-year graduation rate of 39.53%, a 5-year rate of 58.62% and a 6-year rate of 52%. This demonstrates that even though students have fallen behind, the East Lee Campus staff is dedicated to helping as many as possible graduate before state law prohibits them from attending a public school due to age limits. A growing number of alternative ed and adult students are successfully working on and acquiring a GED certificate if they do not earn a diploma.
The overall numbers show that both our traditional comprehensive high school and our alternative programs are working despite the many obstacles dealing with poverty, transiency, health and English language proficiency confronted by our students and their families every day.