High school graduation rate soars in the U.S.

According to federal data recently released, the national high school graduation rate is at an all time high of 82 percent earning their diploma on time in 2013-2014. Every category of student, broken down by income, race, learning disabled and if they were an English-language learner, has shown advancement in graduation rates since 2010. Watch as former US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announces this milestone:


The high school graduation rate figures between White, Black and Latino students is narrowing quickly. However, inequalities do remain. For the 2013-2014 school year, 89.4 percent of Asian-American students graduated on time, 87.2 percent of White students, 76.3 percent of Hispanics, and 72.5 percent of African-American students. The figure for low-income students was 74.6 percent, 62.6 percent for English-language learners and 63.1 percent for students with disabilities. Districts that made the most progress tracked student academic performance early on, most beginning as soon as the first few weeks of freshman year.

High school graduation rate variables

Rates also widely vary for each state. For example, 84.1 percent of English-language learners in Arkansas graduated on time, with just 18.1 percent from Arizona. In Nevada, 53.9 percent of Black students graduated on time, with the rate being 84.2 percent in Texas for the same segment of students. Overall Iowa was the state with the highest level of graduation, at 90.5 percent of the class of 2014 graduating on time.

Though high school graduation rate is a measure of school success, experts warn not to place too much emphasis on the figures, as graduation requirements are different across districts. In order to properly assess progress, high school graduation rates, number of students taking remedial classes, dropout rates and college graduation rates all need to be taken into consideration.

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