Maryland says the state's graduation rate was 83.6 percent for the class of 2012, an increase of 1.5 percentage points over two years. Officials are crediting steady funding of education and efforts by local districts to address achievement gaps for the increase.
Maryland is outpacing the national graduation rate. Using 2010 data, the National Center for Education Statistics estimated this year that 78 percent of public school students nationally earned a diploma within four years of starting high school.
Experts consider graduation rates an indicator of how well a school system is performing.
Prince George's struggles in areas of common testing and with graduation rates. The rate in Prince George's was 72.9 percent, more than 10 points behind the state average. The average combined score on SAT exams in Prince George's last year was 1274 out of 2400, more than 200 points below the national average.
Average scores in Montgomery and Fairfax counties were 1651 and 1659, respectively. The average test score in the District was 1184.