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High School Graduation Rates Reach High

November 14, 2016 - Posted in Education by Bette Jamison
Graphic showing graduate pictured with 83.2 percent rate indicated

President Obama announced in October that America's high school graduation rate has reached 83.2%, a record high rate for the country. The national high school graduation rate has been steadily increasing since 2008 (when it was 74.7%) when the U.S. Department of Education implemented regulations that required standard calculations of graduation rates and enacted policy mandates targeted toward high schools with low graduation rates. Among the regulations was a requirement that school districts intervene in high schools where students from low-income families, students of color, and other traditionally underserved students had consistently low graduation rates. The approach seems to be working, as the 2014-2015 rates also show progress for those subgroups. The graduation rates for black students grew to 74.6%, compared to 72.5% the previous year; and the rate for low-income students grew from 74.6% to 76.1%.

There is still work to be done, however, as gaps between minority and white students remain. This year's data show that the percentage of white students who graduate from high school on time is still 10-16 percentage points higher than the rates for Hispanic, black, Native American, and Native Alaskan students.

The high school graduation rate has risen four percentage points since the 2010-2011 school year. -


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