TPS graduation rate continues to surpass state average

Even during this most recent, challenging pandemic year, our students, staff and families achieved an 88.4 percent graduation rate. 

And for the eighth consecutive year, Tacoma Public Schools exceeded the Washington State high school graduation rate.

Graduation rate chart from 2014-2021

From 2014 to 2021, TPS graduation rates grew across all ethnicities. Students who are low-income, experiencing homelessness, English language learners, or are receiving special education services also made big gains.

2014-2021 On-time graduation trend

  • Asian +7.3%
  • Black +13.7%
  • Hispanic +16%
  • Multi-race +25.2%
  • Native American +6.8%
  • Pacific Islander +23.3%
  • White +7.9%
  • Low-income +13.8%
  • Homeless +15.1%
  • English Language Learner +25.3%
  • Special Education 11.7%

Superintendent Josh Garcia praised the leadership of high school principals, the hard work of teachers and guidance counselors, and the support of caring staff members at all grade levels for supporting every student, every day.
“Graduation rates are just one metric of success,” Garcia said, “but we track it closely because every decimal point is a student.”

Extended rates:

  • Five-year rate, class of 2020, 91.2%
  • Six-year rate, class of 2019, 92.3%
  • Seven-year rate, class of 2018, 93.5%

In addition to tracking the four-year graduation rates, TPS continues to work with students for five-, six- and seven-year graduation rates.

“We don’t give up on students,” Garcia said. “Sometimes life happens, and students need a little more time. We continue to support and track because ultimately we want ALL students to graduate.”

After the 2012 graduation data release, the School Board set a bold goal – graduate 85% of Tacoma students by 2020. As recently as 2010, Tacoma high schools graduated 59.2% of students. Tacoma’s high schools reached the School Board’s goal with the Class of 2016.

Media Contact

Dan Voelpel, Executive Director of Communications | 253-571-1015 |

About Tacoma Schools

Tacoma Public Schools is the only district designated an Innovation Zone by Washington State. A leader in implementing innovative schools and programs to meet the diverse needs of every student, every day, TPS serves approximately 30,000 students from preschool to grade 12 and at nearly 5000 employees is one of the largest employers in Tacoma. Learn more...


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