New data from the state shows that the graduation rate at New Bedford High School now stands at 82.5 percent, the highest level since state tracking began 14 years ago.

The rate jumped 6.5 percent from 2018, when the rate stood at only 76 percent. In 2010, the four-year rate stood at an abysmal 61.4 percent. The numbers come from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

For black students, the number stood at 89.7 percent in 2019, up from 52.6 percent in 2018. English Learner (EL) students saw growth for the second consecutive year and increased from 53.5 percent in 2018 to 80 percent in 2019.

Superintendent Thomas Anderson said the numbers "are a direct reflection of high expectations and believing in our students, staff, families and the entire community" and "a direct correlation to the recent investments that we are making in our students’ future.”

Anderson praised "dedication by our entire team to the overall teaching and learning process" and said that "this is about people and our ability to inspire and motivate everyone to be invested in the teaching and learning process.” 

Mayor Jon Mitchell called it "exciting and encouraging news" and praised teachers, staff and students. Headmaster Bernadette Coelho said the rate "continues to climb because of the hard work of our students who embrace the opportunities they have at New Bedford High School alongside a staff committed to ensuring every child succeeds.”

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