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Boston Public Schools hit highest-ever four-year graduation rate in 2020

A student rode alone on the school bus after school ended for the day on March 4.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Despite facing an unprecedented disruption to the school year, Boston Public Schools had its highest-ever four-year graduation rate in 2020, with 75.4 percent of the senior class graduating.

The four-year graduation rate rose from 73.2 percent in 2019 and has increased nearly nine percentage points since 2014, according to a statement from the school district on Thursday. Fifteen high schools experienced increases in their graduation rates, and 13 experienced decreases.

“I am so proud of the class of 2020,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a press conference on Friday. “In their senior year, they faced something no class has ever faced or at least in 100 years: a global pandemic. It was frightening and it impacted our communities and their families. But they adapted and moved forward.”


From 2019 to 2020, the four-year graduation rate rose from 71.9 to 74.6 percent for Black students, 67 to 69.8 percent for Hispanic/Latino students, and 81.9 to 83.9 percent for white students, according to data posted by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The annual dropout rate also decreased by 0.3 percentage points, from 4.2 percent in the 2018-19 academic year to 3.9 percent in 2019-20. In all, 58 fewer students dropped out last year, compared to the year before.

Walsh thanked the students, their families, and all the school staff members who made the record graduation rate possible.

“That’s because of our teachers. And that’s because of our principals. Because of our superintendent,” he said. “It’s because of the taxpayers of Boston, the investment that you’ve made in the city of Boston over the last four years, and most importantly, it’s about our kids, the young people that go to school every day and work hard every single day who graduate.”

Boston School Committee Chairperson Alexandra Oliver-Dávila said in a statement that she is proud of the achievements of the city’s students, even in the face of a difficult year.


“It has been proven repeatedly that it takes a village to raise and educate our children,” she said. “These results are a testament to their tenacity and to the unwavering commitment of our educators, school-based and Central staff, parents, and caregivers who work tirelessly to improve educational outcomes for our students.”