Wilson’s graduation rate increased to 88 percent last year, the highest in years


Ellie Melick

The highest four-year graduation rate in Wilson’s recent history was achieved last year as 88 percent of the class of 2016 received their diplomas on-time. This was a 10 percent increase from 2015, according to newly released data on the graduation rates of DC Public Schools.

Wilson had the highest graduation rate of the nine comprehensive high schools in DCPS last year, and the 10 percent jump from 2015 was the largest increase seen across DCPS.

“The Wilson community should be proud, but not surprised that Wilson has seen a 10 point jump in our graduation rates,” said Principal Kimberly Martin. “We see from our AP scores, student grades, and other measures that Wilson students are not only ready for graduation, but for college and career after they leave our doors.”

The 2015-2016 school year was the first under Principal Martin, who was hired in 2015 after Wilson’s former principal Pete Cahall resigned. Cahall had been principal since 2008.

The four-year graduation rate for all of DCPS also reached a new high last year, at 69 percent. This was up five percent from 2015.

“I’m thrilled that our four-year graduation rate continues to grow because each data point of progress is a student graduating from our schools ready for college and career,” said Chancellor Kaya Henderson, who is stepping down from her position on October 1 after almost six years on the job. The city is currently in the process of hiring a new Chancellor.

The district has seen a steady rise in graduation rates since Henderson became Chancellor. The four-year graduation rate across DCPS was 53 percent in 2011 and has increased every year since. Most of the city’s public high schools have also been increasing their graduation rates, and all but two schools saw an increase from 2015 to 2016.

Wilson’s four-year graduation rate has increased 15 percent since 2012, when the rate was 73 percent. Wilson has had the highest graduation rate of the city’s comprehensive public high schools every year since 2012 with the exception of 2015, when Capitol Hill’s Eastern High School had a slightly higher graduation rate.

The district’s selective high schools, which students must be accepted into, have higher graduation rates than the city’s comprehensive schools, which allow all in-boundary students and graduates of feeder schools to enroll. Two selective high schools, Benjamin Banneker and School Without Walls, had 100 percent graduation rates in 2016.

A Capital Commitment, a five-year plan created by DCPS in 2012, set a district-wide goal of a 75 percent graduation rate by 2017. The graduation rate will have to increase by at least six percent this year in order for the district to meet that goal.