Graduation rates worth celebrating

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The quality of public education is one of the benchmarks company owners look at when considering whether to relocate or build a new plant. We have little doubt that Nash-Rocky Mount Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson is reminded of that on a regular basis by well-meaning recruiters.

So good news about high school graduation rates can’t be trumpeted enough. The improvements made in Nash-Rocky Mount Schools since 2010 have been the subject of a couple of front-page stories by Telegram education writer Jim Holt. We’re happy to use the space on this page to join the celebration as well.

As Holt reported last week, Nash-Rocky Mount saw double-digit percentage increases in the system’s 2011-12 graduation rates among a number of subcategories. The overall graduation rate for the system was 79.4 percent – just a few points under the state average of 82.5 percent. The state average also reflected a significant increase in 2011-12. The Edgecombe County Public Schools rate is in the same neighborhood – 77.4 percent.

Public schools face a lot of challenges statewide – fewer teacher assistants and more students in classrooms, among them.

The continued improvement of high school graduation rates is a testament to the hard work of students, educators and parents.

A better educated community helps attract better jobs and contributes to a higher quality of life.

Congratulations to all who played a role in producing more high school graduates in our community.