RICHMOND (AP) -- About 89 percent of Virginia's high school graduates earned their diplomas on time this year, compared to 88 percent in 2012.
During the same period, the statewide dropout rate fell from 6.5 percent to 5.9 percent.
Black students' graduation rate increased 1.4 points to 84.1 percent. Their dropout rate declined from 9.3 percent to 8.7 percent.
Hispanic students' graduation rate rose 2.4 points to 83.3 percent. Their dropout rate fell from 13.6 percent to 11.7 percent.
Overall, the percentage of students who earn a diploma in four years has increased by 7.8 points since 2008. Black students' on-time graduation rate has increased 10.1 points and Hispanic students' on-time graduation rate has risen by 12.1 points during the same period.
According to the data, Virginia Beach City Public Schools has improved performance on two key academic indicators — the on-time graduation rate and the cohort dropout rate for the class of 2013.
Officials with VBCPS reported that the cohort-based dropout rate for the Class of 2013 is 4.9 percent, which is lower than the statewide rate of 5.9 percent. VBCPS' dropout rate is down from 5.9 percent in 2012.
A cohort is a group of students followed over the course of their four-year high school career. The dropout rate reflects the percentage of students in the group who left high school permanently or who cannot be accounted for elsewhere.
VBCPS also increased its on-time graduation rate. In Virginia Beach, 88 percent of the Class of 2013 graduated on time with a Board of Education approved diploma; that is up from 86.8 percent in 2012.
In addition, 4 percent of the VBCPS class of 2013 earned a GED diploma, bringing the division's four-year completion rate to 92 percent.
Kellam High School had the highest 2013 graduation rate in the division at 93.77 percent, while Ocean Lakes High School had the lowest dropout rate for 2013 at 2.14 percent.