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MDE provides support to local schools and students to increase graduation rates

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) shared at today’s State Board of Education meeting information about successful efforts that helped increase four-year graduation rates in 2023 in all 17 categories of students that are tracked.

In 13 of the 17 categories, the 2023 rates were higher than pre-pandemic 2019 graduation rates. Increasing graduation rates is goal 5 of Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan.

“MDE is committed to providing whatever support we can to our local schools so they can ensure our children graduate and realize their dreams and life goals,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “The data shows that we have been successful, however, we know there’s more work to do – particularly to address disparities in academic achievement among different student populations.”

MDE deputy superintendents Dr. Delsa Chapman and Dr. Michele Harmala presented details at the board meeting about the progress. MDE efforts to raise graduation rates have included:

  • The Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System, a seven-step research- and evidence-based process of examining data and making decisions about supports and interventions to help students get back on track for graduation and success. MDE trains and certifies coaches who provide intervention and monitoring training across the state.
  • Personal Curriculum, which can modify the Michigan Merit Curriculum based on the individual needs of a student. MDE’s Office of Educational Supports has a personal curriculum consultant who has trained nearly 300 local school districts, intermediate school districts and other agencies. Close to 13,000 students statewide had a personal curriculum in the 2022-23 school year.
  • High school graduation rate guidance that has included student intervention to address chronic absenteeism and implement academic enrichment and tutoring, engagement in extra-curricular activities, and mentoring.
  • Middle school graduation rate guidance that has included strategies to promote attendance, personalized learning, mentoring, and out-of-school-time learning, which includes learning before school, after school, and times and days when there is no school due to teacher training, snow days, vacations and summer break.
  • Expansion of secondary school programs, including career and technical education, early middle college, dual enrollment simultaneously in high school and college courses, international baccalaureate programs, and advanced placement programs.

Michigan’s 2023 four-year graduation rates increased in all 17 categories, according to data released in February by the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI).

Migrant and militarily connected students had the largest one-year increases of 10.4 and 4.9 percentage points, respectively. Of the ethnic groups, scores for Hispanic, Asian, and African American students increased over the last year by 2.5, 1.2, and 1.1 percentage points, respectively.

Below is the statewide five-year trend for four-year graduation and dropout rates:







4-Year Graduation Rate







4-Year Dropout Rate







Graduation and dropout rates can be found on CEPI’s MI School Data website ( Under the site’s K-12 Grade Students section, visitors can select a school or district or compare one district to another. A bureau within the State Budget Office, CEPI facilitates collecting, managing, and reporting public education data required by state and federal law. CEPI’s MI School Data website is Michigan's official education data portal to help residents, educators, and policymakers make informed decisions that can lead to improved success for students.


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