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The number of graduates in Michigan has dropped for the first time in years.

The state’s four-year output was 80.4% in the 2021 class, down 1.6 percentage points from a year earlier. The state graduation rate is the percentage of graduates who began their studies as freshmen four years earlier.

These figures serve as a timely reminder of the current challenges in science and mental health that COVID-19 has posed to students, and of the costs of educational upheavals. Without a high school diploma, students face a difficult struggle in the job market.

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These effects were felt in Michigan and across the country. Indicators for high school graduation dipped in at least 20 states after the first full school year disrupted by a pandemic, especially among students from low-income families.

On Friday, head of state Michael Rice said release rates reflect the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on colored students and students from the economically disadvantaged.

“While we remain much higher – 80.5% than ten years ago – 74.3% in our four-year graduation rates, we need a special need to make sure that deferment of admission is not denied and that our students graduate and do so with the necessary knowledge and skills to continue in one form or another of higher education, ”he said.

Michigan’s largest school district, the Detroit Public District School District, fell 8 percentage points year-over-year from 72.5% in the 2019-20 school year to 64.5% in the 2020-21 school year. academic year. Over the past five years, the number of district graduates has been declining every year, in part because some of the city’s in 2017, the schools with the lowest rates were restored to the district.

Detroit superintendent Nicholas Viti linked the decline to the transition, but also said the pandemic was a big factor.

“Obviously, if it weren’t for the pandemic that caused extreme absenteeism and thus failure on courses, we would be above 65%,” he said in an email. “Now this is our new baseline and we will build from here.”

He said the district is taking steps to help students complete coursework and graduate. Teachers can earn extra money by offering additional courses throughout the day, and after-school courses are offered to help students replenish missed credit.

Across the state, the graduation rate among black students fell by 2.8 percentage points, while among Native American students it fell by 4.1 percentage points.

Among students from low-income families, the four-year graduation rate fell 2.8 percentage points to 68.8% after it has grown steadily over the past five years.

The decline across the state is the first during the pandemic: graduation figures marked for the 2020 classwho graduated in just three months of training due to the pandemic.

Chalkbeat is a non-profit news site that covers changes in education in public schools.

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