North Providence High School achieves highest graduation rate in RI
Rhode Island's last high school seniors graduated at the highest rate ever recorded in the state.
The state said 83 percent of the class of 2015 received their diplomas just four years after starting high school, and that's 6 percentage points higher than just three years ago.
The governor, the education commissioner, and the chairwoman of the Board of Education attended a celebration of the news at North Providence High School on Wednesday morning. That school's graduation rate of 98 percent was the highest in the state.
Students in this year's senior class say graduation is expected.
"We come in knowing that we want to go places, but the teachers are the people who help us get there," Rose O'Gara said.
Classmate Gregory Addai said he believes the atmosphere drives students to try to best each other.
"The competition is what pushes us. It's friendly competition. We're all family. It's a small town kind of close-knit family, but that friendly competition is what pushes us to succeed and excel," Addai said.
Melissa DiOrio agrees, saying the teachers encourage achievement.
"They're just pushing us so that we can be our best. That's what the parents, that's what the teachers, they want us to be better than them, and to experience anything that we can," she said.
In the morning assembly when the graduation rates were announced, school principal Joseph Goho told the crowd that it's not only about graduating, but about making sure the graduates are ready for the next step.
"I have seen the evolution of the Rhode Island diploma system, and I can say with certainty that we are producing stronger graduates who have the 21st century skills to succeed in college and in global marketplace," Goho said.
The rates of graduation from each high school in the state are available on the state Department of Education website.