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New Hampshire Continues To Have One of the Lowest Dropout Rates
In The Nation

Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D., New Hampshire’s Education Commissioner, today (January 20, 2012) released dropout data for the 2010-2011 school year, which shows that while the state’s dropout rate has increased slightly, New Hampshire continues to have one of the lowest dropout rates in the nation.

New Hampshire’s dropout rate is currently 1.19 percent, which is a slight increase from the previous rate of .97 percent. Since the 2007-2008 school year, when the state began an intensive focus on reducing the number of high school dropouts and ensuring more young people received a diploma, the dropout rate has been cut by more than 50 percent.

The Department of Education, superintendents, school boards and educators across the state remain committed to the goal set by Gov. John Lynch, which is to reduce the dropout rate to zero by the 2012-2013 school year.

“New Hampshire continues to be a national leader in reducing the number of high school dropouts. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Lynch, and the cooperation and determination of education administrators and teachers across New Hampshire, we are making tremendous progress on reaching the Governor’s goal of zero dropouts by the 2012-2013 school year,” Commissioner Barry said. “The data contained in this report shows the schools continue to make progress in ensuring more of our young people receive their diploma. It also shows our intensive efforts to identify and reach those most at-risk have been successful.”

Five high schools, Mascenic, Hinsdale, Pittsburg, Sunapee and the Academy for Science and Design Charter have reported zero dropouts for two consecutive years. In addition, 10 high schools, Colebrook, Gorham, Hopkinton, Lin-wood, Oyster River, Belmont, Windham, Cocheco Arts and Technology Charter Academy, Academy for Science and Design Charter and Virtual Learning Academy Charter, have reported zero dropouts for this year.

The Department is reporting the annual dropout rate using the same methodology as in the past, and is reporting for the second year the cohort rate defined by the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) in parallel with national definitions.

The annual dropout report continues to break out students into three subgroups: 1) students who receive GED’s; 2) non graduating students who are enrolled in college either part-time or full-time; and 3) students who have dropped out. The annual dropout rates include dropouts during the 2010-2011 school year.

The NESSC cohort rate requires four years of student level data. The Department has been collecting student level data since the 2006-2007 school year. The cohort model includes all students during the past four years who were expected to graduate at the end of the 2010-2011 school year resulting in a more accurate picture of students who were in NH schools during the past four years. This is the second year that the Department has had sufficient data and reported a cohort rate.

For school year 2010-2011, the cohort dropout rate for students who did not earn a GED and dropped-out of school is 3.30 percent. This is a decline from the 2009-2010 cohort dropout rate of 4.44 percent. The cohort graduation rate also increased from 85.89% last year to 86.63% this year.

“This is clear evidence that our dropout prevention programs, put in place to complement the increase in the state’s compulsory attendance age are in fact working,” Commissioner Barry said.

The complete 2010-2011 Early Exit and Dropout Rates for Grades 9-12 includes rates for each New Hampshire high school, as well as definitions and calculation methods, can be found on the NH Department of Education Web site at

For more information about dropout prevention programs contact Paul Leather at (603) 271-3801 or For information about the rate calculation contact Irene Koffink at (603) 271-3865 or

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711