A new report from the Department of Education shows that high school graduation rates are at their highest level since 1974. According to the report, during the 2009-10 school year, 78.2 percent of high school students nationwide graduated on time, which is a substantial increase from the 73.4 percent recorded in 2005-6. The report shows that graduation rates were up for all ethnic groups in 2010, and that the rate for Hispanic students has jumped almost 10 points since 2006.
The report, from ED’s National Center for Education Statistics, also provides state-by-state data on high school dropouts. While the nation’s overall dropout rate is declining, Secretary Arne Duncan recently noted that the dropout rate is still “unsustainably high for a knowledge-based economy and still unacceptably high in our African-American, Latino, and Native-American communities.”
Across the United States, a total of 3,128,022 public school students received a high school diploma in 2009–10, resulting in a calculated Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) of 78.2 percent. This rate ranged from 57.8 percent in Nevada and 59.9 percent in the District of Columbia to 91.1 in Wisconsin and 91.4 percent in Vermont. The median state AFGR was 78.6 percent.
The AFGR was highest for Asian/Pacific Islander students (93.5 percent). The rates for other groups were 83.0 percent for White students, 71.4 percent for Hispanic students, 69.1 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students, 3and 66.1 percent for Black students.
A comparison of data from 2009–10 to data from the prior school year, 2008–09, shows a percentage point or greater increase in the AFGR for 38 states. The AFGR decreased by a percentage point or more for only the District of Columbia during that same time period.
A total of 514,238 public school students dropped out of grades 9–12, resulting in a calculated overall event dropout rate of 3.4 percent in 2009–10. New Hampshire and Idaho had the lowest event dropout rates at 1.2 and 1.4 percent, respectively, while Mississippi and Arizona had the highest at 7.4 and 7.8 percent, respectively. The median state dropout rate was 3.4 percent.
The dropout rate was higher for males than for females at 3.8 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. The dropout rate was higher among males in every state. The male-female gap ranged from lows of 0.2 percentage points in Idaho to highs of 1.7 in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Click here for detailed tables, maps, and statistics by state, ethnicity and additional factors.
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