By J. Damon Cain, The Register-Herald
BECKLEY, W.Va. — As West Virginia’s high school graduation rate for school year 2019-20 increased for a third straight year, the rates for Black and white students in Raleigh County saw a considerable gap of graduation achievement.
According to the West Virginia Department of Education, which published its results Monday to an online dashboard, the state had a graduation rate of 92.1 percent for all fourth-year high school students in the 2019-20 school year compared to graduation rates in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years of 90.2 percent and 91.3 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, white students graduated from Raleigh County’s four high schools at a rate of 90.31 percent, while Black students graduated at a 70.51 percent rate, both rates trailing state tallies of 92.42 and 86.14 percent, respectively.
The greatest racial graduation divergence in the county was at Shady Spring High School, where white students graduated at a 93.30 percent clip and Black students graduated at a 66.7 percent clip.
At Woodrow Wilson High School, with the county’s largest enrollment, white students graduated at an 84.36 percent rate while Black students graduated at a 70.83 percent rate…