High School Graduation Rate Could Hit 90 Percent

Career College Central summary:

  • The high school graduation rate has topped 80 percent for the first time in U.S. history — and if states can keep up their rapid pace of improvement, the rate could hit 90 percent by 2020, according to federal data released Monday. The improvement has been driven by steep gains among African-American and Hispanic students and by progress in shutting down hundreds of troubled urban schools dubbed “dropout factories.” And it’s not confined to one region of the country. Rural states such as Iowa, Vermont and Nebraska are among the best at keeping kids in school until graduation — but other top performers include Texas, Tennessee and Missouri, all of which serve large numbers of low-income students in densely populated cities.
  • “This is really, really good news,” said John Gomperts, the president of America’s Promise Alliance, a coalition of nonprofits, businesses and educators focused on raising the graduation rate. “For a country that can feel like it’s struggling to make progress, this is a pretty big story of positive change.”
  • Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday hailed the new data at a “Building a Grad Nation” summit hosted by America’s Promise. The group released a report detailing state-by-state performance, based on 2012 data.
  • “Even as we celebrate, we all know we have to push beyond that 80 percent,” Duncan said. He emphasized that high school diplomas are not the finish line, telling students they will need some form of post-secondary education to succeed in the global economy.

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