There Is No Black/White High School Graduation Gap… At Least Not in Virginia

When we stop believing in a future where race does not matter, we stop aspiring to be fully human.

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Gainesville, Virginia 06/04/2021 – The National Society for the Advancement of Black Americans (nsaba.org) conducted a study of Virginia high school graduation rates based on the most recent complete 2019 data. Researchers collected and analyzed graduation data from the 118 school districts that have black and white student enrollment. The report was produced using data publicly available on the Virginia Department of Education website. The purpose of the study was to determined the extent of the Black/White graduation gap in light of the efforts of multiple school systems looking to introduce elements of Critical Race Theory into school curricula. Three common ideas in Critical Race Theory are that racism is systemic throughout American society, all White Americans are inherently racist against Black Americans, and that the only way to correct inherent racism is through anti-racism, which includes discriminating against White Americans to counterbalance systemic and inherent racism against Black Americans. Our goal was to collect accurate data that would allow the NSABA to create and deliver supplementary education programs to the neediest schools. The conclusion of the study proved surprising to the researchers because the data indicates that Virginia school districts, with few exceptions, have achieved relative racial parity in high school graduation rates.

Virginia Black/White Graduation Highlights

  • In 94 of 118 school districts, Black students graduate at over a 90% graduation rate. (80%)
  • In 47 school districts, Blacks graduate at a higher rate. (40%)
  • In 77 school districts, the White/Black graduation gap is 5% or less. (65%)
  • There are only 8 Virginia school districts with a double-digit graduation gap. In half of those districts, Blacks graduate at a higher rate.
  • In the list of the 25 worse schools for Blacks and White, 11 school districts are on the list for both races.

White/Black Graduation Gap for Virginia’s Largest School Districts

School DistrictWhite RateBlack RateGap
Fairfax County Public Schools98.8%96.1%2.7%
Prince William County Schools98.1%95.8%2.3%
Loudoun County Schools99.2%97.2%2%
Virginia Beach City Public Schools97.2%92.7%4.5%
Chesterfield County Public Schools95.7%93.6%2.1%
Note: Only Virginia Beach City Public Schools Exceed 3%

25 Worse School Districts for Black Students

School DistrictWhite RateBlack RateGap
Covington City Public Schools25.630-4.4
Greene County Public Schools95.476.918.5
Hopewell City Public Schools83.777.85.9
Department of Juvenile Justice81.8801.8
Danville Public Schools90.781.39.4
Madison County Public Schools99.281.317.9
Richmond Public Schools86.281.74.5
Manassas City Public Schools92.281.810.4
Waynesboro Public Schools87.7843.7
Lynchburg City Public Schools92.185.86.3
Accomack County Public Schools67.585.9-18.4
Colonial Heights Public Schools96.286.49.8
Winchester Public Schools95.486.58.9
Suffolk Public Schools92.586.65.9
Franklin City Public Schools10087.712.3
Culpeper County Public Schools95.487.87.6
Salem City Schools96.787.98.8
Sussex County Public Schools83.388.4-5.1
Norfolk Public Schools94.788.56.2
Roanoke County Public Schools96.4897.4
King George County Public Schools96.489.27.2
Petersburg City Public Schools72.789.4-16.7
Prince Edward County Public Schools83.189.5-6.4
Fluvanna County Public Schools96.489.86.6
Roanoke City Public Schools89.989.90
Note: Negative Gap Numbers Indicate Higher Black Graduation Rate. Ordered By Gap

25 Worse School Districts for White Students

School DistrictWhite RateBlack RateGap
Covington City Public Schools25.630-4.4
Accomack County Public Schools67.585.9-18.4
Petersburg City Public Schools72.789.4-16.7
Department of Juvenile Justice81.8801.8
Prince Edward County Public Schools83.189.5-6.4
Buena Vista City Public Schools83.1100-16.9
Sussex County Public Schools83.388.4-5.1
Hopewell City Public Schools83.777.85.9
Essex County Public Schools83.890.7-6.9
Richmond Public Schools86.281.74.5
King and Queen County Public School87.5100-12.5
Waynesboro Public Schools87.7843.7
Caroline County Public Schools88.692.8-4.2
Mecklenburg County Public Schools88.993.5-4.6
Pittsylvania County Public Schools8991.8-2.8
Roanoke City Public Schools89.989.90
Lancaster County Public Schools9093-3
Danville Public Schools90.781.39.4
Lunenburg County Public Schools90.793.3-2.6
Henry County Public Schools91.794.1-2.4
Rockbridge County Public Schools91.9100-8.1
Lynchburg City Public Schools92.185.86.3
King William County Public Schools92.1902.1
Manassas City Public Schools92.281.810.4
Martinsville City Public Schools92.396.3-4
Note: Negative Gap Numbers Indicate Higher Black Graduation Rate. Ordered By Gap

Top 20 Districts Where Black Students Do Better

School DistrictWhite RateBlack RateGap
Accomack County Public Schools67.585.9-18.4
Buena Vista City Public Schools83.1100-16.9
Petersburg City Public Schools72.789.4-16.7
King and Queen County Public School87.5100-12.5
Rockbridge County Public Schools91.9100-8.1
Charlotte County Public Schools92.5100-7.5
Bath County Public Schools92.9100-7.1
Essex County Public Schools83.890.7-6.9
Prince Edward County Public Schools83.189.5-6.4
Gloucester County Public Schools94.8100-5.2
Sussex County Public Schools83.388.4-5.1
Bristol Public Schools94.9100-5.1
New Kent County Public Schools94.9100-5.1
Wythe County Public Schools95.2100-4.8
Cumberland County Public Schools92.997.6-4.7
Surry County Public Schools92.997.6-4.7
Mecklenburg County Public Schools88.993.5-4.6
Mathews County Public Schools95.6100-4.4
Covington City Public Schools25.630-4.4
Bland County Public Schools95.7100-4.3
Note: Negative Gap Numbers Indicate Higher Black Graduation Rate. Ordered By Gap

Top 20 Districts Where White Students Do Better

School DistrictWhite RateBlack RateGap
Greene County Public Schools95.476.918.5
Madison County Public Schools99.281.317.9
Franklin City Public Schools10087.712.3
Manassas City Public Schools92.281.810.4
Colonial Heights Public Schools96.286.49.8
Danville Public Schools90.781.39.4
Winchester Public Schools95.486.58.9
Salem City Schools96.787.98.8
Nelson County Public Schools98.2908.2
Northampton County Public Schools10092.37.7
Culpeper County Public Schools95.487.87.6
Fredericksburg City Schools97.890.27.6
Roanoke County Public Schools96.4897.4
King George County Public Schools96.489.27.2
Brunswick County Public Schools10093.26.8
Montgomery County Public Schools96.7906.7
Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools98.591.86.7
Fluvanna County Public Schools96.489.86.6
Greensville County Public Schools10093.66.4
Bedford County Public Schools96.990.66.3
Note: Negative Gap Numbers Indicate Higher Black Graduation Rate. Ordered By Gap

Raw Virginia State-Wide Data

School DistrictWhite RateBlack RateGap
Brunswick County Public Schools10093.26.8
Franklin City Public Schools10087.712.3
Goochland County Public Schools10097.52.5
Grayson County Public Schools1001000
Greensville County Public Schools10093.66.4
Northampton County Public Schools10092.37.7
Rappahannock County Public Schools1001000
Richmond County Public Schools1001000
Page County Public Schools99.6100-0.4
Arlington Public Schools99.398.50.8
Charlottesville City Schools99.396.72.6
Loudoun County Public Schools99.297.22
Madison County Public Schools99.281.317.9
Fairfax County Public Schools98.896.12.7
Newport News Public Schools98.796.32.4
Hampton City Schools98.596.91.6
Warren County Public Schools98.5100-1.5
Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools98.591.86.7
Fauquier County Public Schools98.397.50.8
Shenandoah County Public Schools98.394.73.6
Wise County Public Schools98.3100-1.7
Nelson County Public Schools98.2908.2
Northumberland County Public Schools98.295.62.6
Washington County Public Schools98.2100-1.8
Orange County Public Schools98.198.10
Prince William County Public Schools98.195.82.3
Powhatan County Public Schools98100-2
Radford City Schools97.9100-2.1
Westmoreland County Public Schools97.997.90
Amelia County Public Schools97.897.10.7
Floyd County Public Schools97.8100-2.2
Fredericksburg City Schools97.890.27.6
Alexandria City Public Schools97.793.74
Amherst County Public Schools97.4970.4
Patrick County Public Schools97.4100-2.6
Falls Church City Public Schools97.3100-2.7
Appomattox County Public Schools97.292.15.1
Stafford County Public Schools97.294.52.7
Virginia Beach City Public Schools97.292.74.5
Hanover County Public Schools97.197.10
Alleghany County Public Schools97100-3
Rockingham County Public Schools9794.72.3
Bedford County Public Schools96.990.66.3
Smyth County Public Schools96.8100-3.2
Isle of Wight County Public Schools96.791.94.8
Montgomery County Public Schools96.7906.7
Salem City Schools96.787.98.8
Scott County Public Schools96.6100-3.4
Chesapeake Public Schools96.594.22.3
Louisa County Public Schools96.593.33.2
York County School Division96.597.6-1.1
Fluvanna County Public Schools96.489.86.6
King George County Public Schools96.489.27.2
Roanoke County Public Schools96.4897.4
Pulaski County Public Schools96.3906.3
Southampton County Public Schools96.392.14.2
Colonial Heights Public Schools96.286.49.8
Harrisonburg City Public Schools96.193.42.7
Henrico County Public Schools96.1906.1
Colonial Beach Public Schools96100-4
Augusta County Public Schools95.994.11.8
Frederick County Public Schools95.891.74.1
Bland County Public Schools95.7100-4.3
Chesterfield County Public Schools95.793.62.1
Tazewell County Public Schools95.7100-4.3
Mathews County Public Schools95.6100-4.4
Culpeper County Public Schools95.487.87.6
Greene County Public Schools95.476.918.5
Winchester Public Schools95.486.58.9
Campbell County Public Schools95.297.8-2.6
Spotsylvania County Public Schools95.291.63.6
Wythe County Public Schools95.2100-4.8
Bristol Public Schools94.9100-5.1
New Kent County Public Schools94.9100-5.1
Gloucester County Public Schools94.8100-5.2
Prince George County Public Schools94.892.82
Norfolk Public Schools94.788.56.2
Halifax County Public Schools94.391.82.5
Nottoway County Public Schools94.390.83.5
Manassas Park City Public Schools93.996.8-2.9
Portsmouth Public Schools93.690.53.1
Albemarle County Public Schools93.594-0.5
Buckingham County Public Schools93.597.8-4.3
Charles City County Public Schools93.390.92.4
Staunton City Public Schools93.294.3-1.1
Franklin County Public Schools93.192.50.6
Middlesex County Public Schools9392.90.1
Bath County Public Schools92.9100-7.1
Cumberland County Public Schools92.997.6-4.7
Surry County Public Schools92.997.6-4.7
Charlotte County Public Schools92.5100-7.5
Dinwiddie County Public Schools92.595.5-3
Suffolk Public Schools92.586.65.9
Martinsville City Public Schools92.396.3-4
Manassas City Public Schools92.281.810.4
King William County Public Schools92.1902.1
Lynchburg City Public Schools92.185.86.3
Rockbridge County Public Schools91.9100-8.1
Henry County Public Schools91.794.1-2.4
Danville Public Schools90.781.39.4
Lunenburg County Public Schools90.793.3-2.6
Lancaster County Public Schools9093-3
Roanoke City Public Schools89.989.90
Pittsylvania County Public Schools8991.8-2.8
Mecklenburg County Public Schools88.993.5-4.6
Caroline County Public Schools88.692.8-4.2
Waynesboro Public Schools87.7843.7
King and Queen County Public School87.5100-12.5
Richmond Public Schools86.281.74.5
Essex County Public Schools83.890.7-6.9
Hopewell City Public Schools83.777.85.9
Sussex County Public Schools83.388.4-5.1
Buena Vista City Public Schools83.1100-16.9
Prince Edward County Public Schools83.189.5-6.4
Department of Juvenile Justice81.8801.8
Petersburg City Public Schools72.789.4-16.7
Accomack County Public Schools67.585.9-18.4
Covington City Public Schools25.630-4.4
Note: Negative Gap Numbers Indicate Higher Black Graduation Rate. Ordered By White Student Performance