Regional on-time graduation rates increased to 85.8% in 2012, up from 84.5% in 2011. While the region as a whole lags the state graduation rate of 88.0%, the gap between the state and regional on-time graduation rates has decreased over the past five years. Virginia continues to improve its education results, but the region has improved even more quickly going from 3.4% below the state rate to lagging by 2.2% the past two years.
Graduation rates measured between 2000 and 2008 were much lower than they have been since they switched to the cohort method, because the previous method did not take into account the students who move into and out of a school district; this had a particularly strong impact in Hampton Roads as a result of this region’s large military population. The state now uses a cohort method that tracks an individual student from 9th grade to graduation to assess a school districts ability to graduate students on time.