High School Graduation Rates

  • Minnesota high school graduation rates show narrowing achievement gap, By Beena Raghavendran and Beatrice Dupuy, February 24, 2017, Star Tribune: “Graduation rates for black students at Minnesota high schools rose 3 percentage points in 2016, a sign of progress in narrowing the achievement gap between white students and students of color, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Education.  While the black students’ gains were most pronounced, the graduation rate for all students also continued along a slow upward trend. Across Minnesota, 82.2 percent of last year’s senior class graduated within four years — the highest overall rate recorded by the department…”
  • How Boston achieved its record high school graduation rate, By Josh Kenworthy, March 3, 2017, Christian Science Monitor: “Dante Omorogbe might sound like any other school kid rattling off his grades: ‘A – for senior math, A- in Algebra …,’ but for the 21-year-old senior, they mean so much more.  Mr. Omorogbe originally was set to graduate in 2014. That was until, after a fight with his dad, he was ‘tossed’ out on the street. Eventually, his grandmother took him in for a while, but with her working during the day, Omorogbe needed to care for his gravely ill grandfather. School eventually became too much, so he dropped it…”

US High School Graduation Rate

The high school graduation rate reaches a record high — again, By Anya Kamenetz and Cory Turner, October 17, 2016, National Public Radio: “The high school graduation rate in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 83 percent in the 2014-2015 school year, President Obama announced today, marking the fifth straight record-setting year. Achievement gaps have narrowed even as all boats have risen. Graduation rates range from 90 percent for students who identify as Asian/Pacific Islanders to 64 percent for students with disabilities…”

Racial Graduation Gap – Wisconsin

Wisconsin posts largest white-black graduation gap, By Erin Richards, October 17, 2016, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Wisconsin’s high school graduation rate of 88.4% in 2015 was 6th highest nationally, according to new federal data that revealed a record high U.S. graduation rate Monday, but the state retains the unfortunate distinction of being No. 1 for the widest graduation-rate gap between white and black students. Wisconsin also has the 10th highest gap between white and Hispanic students graduating in four years, an analysis by the Journal Sentinel showed…”

School Funding – Connecticut

In Connecticut, a wealth gap divides neighboring schools, By Elizabeth A. Harris and Kristin Hussey, September 11, 2016, New York Times: “The two Connecticut school districts sit side by side along Long Island Sound. Both spend more than the national average on their students. They prepare their pupils for the same statewide tests. Their teachers, like virtually all the teachers in the state, earn the same high marks on evaluations.  That is where the similarities end: In Fairfield, a mostly white suburb where the median income is $120,000, 94 percent of students graduate from high school on time. In Bridgeport, the state’s most populous and one of its poorest cities, the graduation rate is 63 percent. Fifth graders in Bridgeport, where most people are black or Hispanic, often read at kindergarten level, one of their teachers recently testified during a trial over school funding inequities…”

High School Graduation Rate – Los Angeles, CA

Crash course in credit recovery yields best-ever graduation rate of 75% for L.A. schools, By Howard Blume and Sonali Kohli, August 10, 2106, Los Angeles Times: “The star of an annual kickoff event for the new school year in Los Angeles was a number: 75%, the highest graduation rate ever tabulated by the nation’s second-largest school system. That achievement, announced by L.A. Unified Supt. Michelle King on Tuesday at Garfield High School, brought acclaim from an audience of administrators and dignitaries, but also led some to wonder again whether such improvement is real.  The milestone represents a breathtaking turnaround between December and June…”

Pell Grants for High School Students in College Courses

Low-income high schoolers to get grants for college courses, By Jennifer C. Kerr (AP), May 17, 2016, San Jose Mercury News: “For the first time, thousands of low-income high-school students in nearly two dozen states will soon be able to get federal grants to take college courses for credit, part of a program the Obama administration plans to begin this summer.  The experimental program allows high school students to apply for federal Pell grant money to pay for college courses. The ‘dual enrollment’ program is designed to help students from lower-income backgrounds…”

High School Graduation Rate – New York City

New York City’s high school graduation rate tops 70%, By Elizabeth A. Harris, January 11, 2016, New York Times: “As New York State officials met on Monday to consider changes to high school graduation requirements, the state announced that the graduation rate inched up last year, with New York City’s edging above 70 percent for the first time. Despite that increase, white students remained far more likely to receive a diploma than black or Hispanic students. And high school graduation remained out of reach for many students with disabilities…”

US High School Graduation Rate

  • US high school graduation rate ticks up to 82 percent, By Jennifer C. Kerr (AP), December 15, 2015, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “The U.S. high school graduation rate inched up to 82 percent and the achievement gap narrowed, according to new federal data that raise concern among education officials and others that too many students still aren’t getting a diploma. The latest figures released Tuesday by the Education Department showed wide disparities in graduation rates according to where students live. Leading the way was Iowa, with a graduation rate of nearly 91 percent. The District of Columbia had the lowest rate, 61 percent…”
  • High school graduation rate hits all-time high; 82 percent finish on time, By Lyndsey Layton, December 15, 2015, Washington Post: “The national high school graduation rate hit an all-time high in 2013-2014, with 82 percent of students earning a diploma on time, according to federal data released Tuesday.  The data shows that every category of student — broken down by race, income, learning disabilities and whether they are English-language learners — has posted annual progress in graduation rates since 2010, when states adopted a uniform method of calculating those rates…”

US High School Dropout Rate

  • The nation’s high school dropout rate has fallen, study says, By Emma Brown, November 10, 2015, Washington Post: “The U.S. high school dropout rate has fallen in recent years, with the number of dropouts declining from 1 million in 2008 to about 750,000 in 2012, according to a new study to be released Tuesday. The number of ‘dropout factories’ — high schools in which fewer than 60 percent of freshmen graduate in four years — declined significantly during the same period, according to the study by a coalition of education groups…”
  • Report: Quarter-million more students now graduate from H.S. each year, By Greg Toppo, November 10, 2015, USA Today: “About a quarter-million more students graduated from high school in 2012 than four years earlier, new research shows, with the number of ‘dropout factories’ — high schools that persistently graduate fewer than 60% of students — cut in half since 2008. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan welcomed the findings, saying that poorly performing high schools have been ‘failing generations of students…'”

US High School Graduation Rates

Why US high school graduation rates are on the rise, By Story Hinckley, October 20, 2015, Christian Science Monitor: “High school graduation rates are rising in most states, according to new data. Moreover, the traditional graduation gaps between white and minority students are shrinking, according to a report released Monday from the US Department of Education. Advocates of recent federal testing and polling standardization say the numbers indicate education reforms are working…”

Foster Children and High School Graduation – California

In Hollywood, foster care students try to finish high school, By Christine Armario (AP), June 6, 2015, San Jose Mercury News: “Tucked below the Hollywood sign, on a street where tourists stop to pose for pictures, is Beachwood House, a pale blue two-story home for foster kids without one. It’s known as the place you go if you are good.  There is no high-security, gated entrance. No 24-hour psychiatrist on staff. Instead, teenagers considered stable and who haven’t been adopted or placed in a suitable individual home get the sort of care a mom or dad might provide: Allowances, tutors and transportation to school…”

US High School Graduation Rate

  • As U.S. grad rate keeps climbing, some students lag behind, By Allie Bidwell, May 12, 2015, US News and World Report: “America is on track to continue recording record-level high school graduation rates in the next five years, but some states are struggling to keep pace even as they make gains each year.   A new report from a coalition of education advocacy groups – America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center and the Alliance for Excellent Education – predicts the country is on pace to reach a 90 percent on-time high school graduation rate by 2020. To get to that national goal – 9 percentage points higher than the most recent rate of 81 percent, an all-time high – the report says the graduating class of 2020 will need to have 310,000 more graduates than the class of 2013…”
  • Oregon hurting nation’s drive to improve high school graduation rates, report says, By Betsy Hammond, May 13, 2015, The Oregonian: “Solid, steady improvements in high school graduation rates around the country have put the United States on track to reach a 90 percent national graduation rate by 2020, a new report says. But the report calls Oregon ‘a laggard,’ with near worst-in-nation rates for almost every category of students. It warns that Oregon, along with three other states with significant Latino populations, “will hold back continued national progress” towards the 90 percent goal.
  • States vary in success at improving high school grad rates, By Kimberley Hefling (AP), May 12, 2015, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “The record high American graduation rate masks large gaps among low income students and those with disabilities compared to their peers.  There are also wide disparities among states in how well they are tackling the issue.  ‘This year, we need to sound a stronger alarm,’ said Gen. Colin Powell and his wife, Alma Powell, in a letter released Tuesday as part of an annual Grad Nation report produced in part by their America’s Promise Alliance organization. The report is based on 2013 rates using federal data, the most recent available…”

Foster Care Youth and Post-Secondary Education

Colorado senator’s bill aims to get youth from foster care, into college, By Jenny Brundin, February 10, 2015, Colorado Public Radio: “State Sen. Linda Newell meets a lot of youth in foster care. One day one of them posted a message on her Facebook page. ‘And [it] said, you’ve got to take a look into this,’ recalls the Littleton Democrat.  ‘This’ refers to the dismal figures, confirmed by a University Northern Colorado study last fall, on the number of foster youth graduating from high school…”

High-Poverty Schools – California

California students in high-poverty schools lose learning time, study says, By Teresa Watanabe, November 17, 2014, Low Angeles Times: “California high schools with high-poverty students lose nearly two weeks of learning time annually because of teacher absences, testing, emergency lockdowns and other disruptions compared with their more affluent peers in other schools, according to a new UCLA study. Although public schools generally offer the same number of school days and hours, following state law, the study detailed the significant differences in how the time is actually used. In heavily low-income schools, students lost about 30 minutes a day to factors often connected to economic pressures. Lack of transportation led to more tardiness, for instance, and more transiency made it more difficult to form stable classrooms…”

Foster Youth and High School Graduation

Colorado foster care youth less likely to graduate than homeless kids, By Eric Gorski, September 14, 2014, Denver Post: “Each morning before school, Latisha Alvarado Barrington and her younger brother packed an extra set of clothes in their backpacks because they were unsure where they would sleep that night. Often, they would not want to go at all for fear of being taken again. Latisha guarded her identity as a foster child. She was fearful of the stigma as she bounced among a dozen placements, at times because her foster parents thought she was too much to handle. The despair of falling behind caused her to lay her head on the desk and think of school as pointless. Public officials and child advocates in Colorado have long known that students in foster care lag behind academically but have lacked the data to quantify it, a necessary step for finding solutions…”

US High School Graduation Rate

  • High school graduation rates at historic high, By Lyndsey Layton, April 28, 2014, Washington Post: “Calling it ‘a profound milestone,’ Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday that the country has reached its highest graduation rate in history, with 80 percent of students receiving a diploma in 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available…”
  • 80 percent of high school students now graduate, By Kimberly Hefling (AP), April 28, 2014, Chicago Sun-Times: “U.S. public high schools have reached a milestone, an 80 percent graduation rate. Yet that still means 1 of every 5 students walks away without a diploma. Citing the progress, researchers are projecting a 90 percent national graduation rate by 2020. Their report, based on Education Department statistics from 2012, was presented Monday at the Building a GradNation Summit…”

High School Graduation Rate – Michigan

  • Michigan’s 4-year high school graduation rate rises to nearly 77%, By Jennifer Chambers, February 27, 2014, Detroit News: “Graduation rates in Michigan are increasing, with the statewide four-year graduation rate for the high school class of 2013 reaching 76.96 percent, up 0.7 percentage points from 2012, according to the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information. At the same time, the 2013 state dropout rate is down 0.17 percentage points, to 10.54 percent…”
  • High school graduation rates up in Lansing, statewide, By Kathleen Lavey, February 27, 2014, Lansing State Journal: “While the statewide high school graduation rate was up slightly in 2013, Lansing officials were celebrating significant increases at Eastern and Everett high schools and a small uptick at Sexton…”

Minnesota High School Graduation Rate

Minnesota graduation rate rose in 2013, By Kim McGuire and Steve Brandt, February 20, 2014, Minneapolis Star Tribune: “The graduation rate for Minnesota students is the highest it’s been in a decade, even though many minority students continue to lag behind their white peers when it comes to getting a diploma on time, new state data show. About 79 percent of all students graduated in 2013, up from 72 percent in 2003. Last year, 85 percent of white students, 56 percent of black students and 58 percent of Hispanic students graduated, according to data released Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Education. State education leaders said they are encouraged by the new data, which show minority students making big gains from year to year…”

Graduation Rates – Rhode Island

At R.I.’s urban schools, graduation rates are rising, By Lynn Arditi, November 26, 2013, Providence Journal: “High school graduation rates in Rhode Island’s poorest cities improved at more than twice the rate of the rest of the state during the last five years, according to a report released Monday by Rhode Island KidsCount. But among those urban students, about 34 percent — or one in three, on average — still are not graduating on time, the report said. The graduation rate in Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence and Woonsocket increased 10 percent since 2007, to 66 percent in 2012, the KidsCount report found. In the rest of the state, the graduation rate during the same five-year period rose 4 percent, to 83 percent in 2012…”