Keeping someone in school long enough to graduate from high school is an essential component to economic and social success of a society. Perhaps it is for this reason that the federal, state and local governments track data relating to high school graduation rates so closely.
The Department of Education announced recently that the national average for students graduating from high school in the United States of America has reached a 40-year high. This is an accomplishment to be celebrated but, only with the realization that there is still a significant portion of this society that is not graduating from high school.
The national average for graduation from high school now stands at 78%. This means that 22% of the eligible population did not graduate from high school in 2012. This is nearly a quarter of this population.
Maryland ranks significantly higher than the national average for high school graduation. The Maryland Department of Education (MSDE) released a statement on Facebook that said in part that Maryland's high school graduation rate is 82.2%. This means that 17.2% of the eligible population did not graduate from high school in 2012.
"National high school graduation rate hits 40-year high, 78 percent. Maryland's rate is well above the national average, at 82.2 percent according to federal data. There's a long way to go, but progress is being made." MSDE Facebook post from January 22, 2013.
Yes, this is yet another indicator that Maryland schools remain among the nations best for a variety of reasons. Yes, this does also indicate that there is still a portion of the population that needs to be addressed, assessed, and provided every tool possible to graduate from high school in Maryland.