The state said its high school graduation rates have reached a record high. Governor Dannel Malloy announced the state’s 2016 figures in New Haven Monday.
The state measures the percentage of first-time ninth-grade students who graduated with a regular high school diploma in four years or less.
Last year, that number rose to 87.4 percent -- up slightly from 2015, and surpassing the national average of 83.2 percent.
Malloy, along with the state’s Education Commissioner, announced the statistics at James Hillhouse High School in New Haven, which had the second largest rate increase over the past five years of any Connecticut high school, reaching 80.4 percent.
Malloy said graduation numbers have continued to increase over the last six years.
"An increase beyond our prior highest graduation rate in the state’s history," said Malloy. "And let’s be clear that Connecticut is a far more diverse state when we talk about being ahead of the national curve. We are a far more diverse state that has more students living in poverty or near poverty than most other states."
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp told reporters she credits New Haven’s success, in part, to a comprehensive strategy.
“This focus on students’ physical, emotional, and mental health has contributed to a dramatic decrease in chronic absenteeism,” she said.
Overall the state’s seen an increase of more than four percentage points in five years.