Farmington Public Schools' 2012 graduation rate continues to outpace the average across Michigan school districts and increased slightly over 2011, according to figures released by the state Department of Education (MDE).
The 4-year rate, which rose above 76 percent across Michigan, tracks students who entered school in 9th grade and continued through their senior year. While it holds steady around 90-95 percent for each traditional high school, Farmington Central High School's 4-year graduation rate landed just under 42 percent.
"Most students at Farmington Central are there because they may have already struggled," Harmala said.
Farmington, North Farmington and Harrison high schools all perform within 3-6 percentage points of one another. However, Harrison's 4-year graduation rate has ranked last over the past three years.
Harmala said having a significant amount of rental housing in the school's attendance area means more transience, and a student who leaves the district and isn't accounted for at another school may be counted as a non-graduate in Farmington.
If a student leaves the district and can't be tracked to another school, he or she counts as a non-graduate for Farmington Schools, Harmala said. "The secretaries have to be meticulous about finding out what happens to students who leave," she added.
Harrison also houses district programs for students with significant disabilities, who don't graduate in four years and would be counted in their cohort as a drop-out. Also, not all students with disabilities receive a diploma, Harmala said.
She said graduation rates have been "pretty consistent" among the three high schools, and overall.
"For the district, the rate's been fairly stable for the last four years," Harmala said.
Here's a look at graduation rates in neighboring communities:School District Cohort Graduated Graduation Rate Bloomfield Hills 750 724 96.53% Birmingham 613 588 95.92% West Bloomfield 533 488 91.56% Farmington 1,000 880 88% Walled Lake 1,291 1,136 87.99% Waterford 906 662 73.07%
Table credit: Patch editor Tim Rath