Making the grad
Governor joins Superintendent Dance in celebrating graduation rate increases at Randallstown High, across BCPS, and in Maryland


“I don’t want to keep you out of class too long,” Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley told a room full of Randallstown High School students as he strode into the school’s media center. After all, he added, “we don’t want to do anything to hurt that great graduation rate.”

Indeed, for it was the school’s graduation rate that brought the governor to Randallstown Friday morning. He was there – along with Maryland Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lillian Lowery and BCPS Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance – to celebrate not only the impressive increases in the school’s graduation rate but also recently reported jumps in the graduation rates for both Baltimore County Public Schools and schools across the state.

O’Malley’s visit came on the heels earlier in the week of news that the state graduation rate had risen 1.4 percentage points in the past year to 84.97 percent for the class of 2013. In Baltimore County, the gains were bigger – a 2.47 percentage point jump from 2012 to 2013 for a four-year cohort graduation rate of 86.3 percent.


At Randallstown, the news was even more impressive. The graduation rate there has climbed 10 percent in the past four years – to 90 percent – thanks to a combination of programs focusing on academic needs on a student-by-student basis.

O’Malley, Dance, and Lowery, along with Randallstown Principal Jay Ward, talked with students for more than 45 minutes about graduation rates, strategies for keeping students in school, and a potpourri of school-related issues ranging from career and technical education courses to Advanced Placement to the power that dedicated teachers have in creating students eager to learn.

In addition to the state dignitaries, several members of the Board of Education of Baltimore County, Baltimore County Council, and other supporters of education also attended the student-dignitary discussion.


Spotlight submitted by Charles Herndon, communications specialist
Photos submitted by Charles Herndon and Natalie Allen, communications specialists
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