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…”

American Youth Not Employed or in School

New report finds 6M American youth neither working nor in school, Associated Press, October 21, 2013, Newsday: “Almost 6 million young people are neither in school nor working, according to a study released Monday. That’s almost 15 percent of those aged 16 to 24 who have neither desk nor job, according to The Opportunity Nation coalition, which wrote the report. Other studies have shown that idle young adults are missing out on a window to build skills they will need later in life or use the knowledge they acquired in college. Without those experiences, they are less likely to command higher salaries and more likely to be an economic drain on their communities…”

High School Dropout Age – Massachusetts

Massachusetts debates raising school dropout age to 18, By Adrienne Lu, October 11, 2013, Stateline: “Massachusetts is the latest state to consider raising the dropout age for students to 18 in an effort to improve graduation rates. A bill, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, would also standardize use of an early warning system that would alert school administrators when a student might be at risk for dropping out. The state would also provide funding for schools to establish graduation coaches, following in Georgia’s footsteps…”

High School Dropout Age – Kentucky

All Kentucky schools must increase dropout age to 18 by 2017, July 10, 2013, Lexington Herald-Leader: “Kentucky will abandon a generations-old policy that allows minors as young as 16 to drop out of school, a move being heralded by Gov. Steve Beshear as an important step for a state that has strived to improve its economy and educational standing. At last count, some 5,000 Kentucky teens per year quit school early in Kentucky…”

Advanced Placement Classes – Michigan

Thousands of low-income, minority students are a step behind by missing out on college-prep classes, By Ron French, June 11, 2013, Mlive.com: “Only 3 percent of low-income and African-American high school students in Michigan are enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) classes that help them get a toehold in college. That’s one of the lowest rates in the nation, according to a study conducted by Education Trust…”

US High School Graduation Rates

  • Michigan’s high school graduation rate trails national average – Education Week report, By Brian Smith, June 6, 2013, MLive.com: “Michigan’s high school graduation rate is almost 4 percent below the national average and is trending downward, according to the latest annual report on graduation rates from Education Week, a specialty newspaper for educators. The data comes from the eighth-annual ‘Diplomas Count 2013’ special report, produced by the publication with data from the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. This year’s report uses data from the class of 2010, the most recent class for which data was available…”
  • Graduation rates dropping among Native American students, By Kelsey Sheehy, June 6, 2013, U.S. News & World Report: “Major gains among black and Latino students pushed the nation’s high school graduation rates to near record levels. Native American students, however, are not enjoying the same boom. Instead, graduation rates for Native American students are sliding backwards, according to ‘Diplomas Count 2013,’ an annual report released today by Education Week…”
  • Fl’s graduation rate for Hispanic students tops in the nation, as state makes strong gains overall, report shows, By Leslie Postal, June 6, 2013, Orlando Sentinel: “Florida has made strong gains in high school graduation rates in the last decade and led the nation when it comes to having Hispanic students earn diplomas, a new report released today shows. The 2013 Diplomas Count report put Florida’s graduation rate for Hispanic students — a group that has historically struggled to earn diplomas — tops in the country for the second year in a row, the Florida Department of Education said…”

High School Dropout Age – Kentucky

  • General Assembly approves higher dropout age; Beshear will sign bill, By Linda B. Blackford, March 11, 2013, Lexington Herald-Leader: “Gov. Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear praised the Kentucky legislature Monday for approving a bill that lets school districts raise the dropout age from 16 to 18. The Beshears have pushed the legislature to raise the dropout age for several years, following similar efforts since at least 1998…”
  • Legislature OKs raising legal dropout age to 18, By Roger Alford (AP), March 12, 2013, Cincinnati Enquirer: “Kentucky would join 15 other states that bar students from dropping out of school before they’re legally adults under a measure the Legislature passed Monday. The Senate voted 33-5 for final passage of the legislation that proponents say will prevent 6,000 Kentucky teens from quitting school early each year. Raising the dropout age from 16 to 18 has been a priority for Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who has been pushing lawmakers to take action since he took office in 2007…”

Early College Programs

  • Pathway from poverty: Pioneering program helps low-income children get degrees, IBM jobs, By Celia Baker and Mercedes White, February 9, 2013, Deseret News: “By the time Trudon Exter walks through the metal detectors at the front doors of Brooklyn’s Paul Robeson High School, he’s been commuting for more than two hours. To get to school by 8 a.m. from his home in Queens, he rides two buses and a subway through some of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods. Trudon, 14, is a little small for his age and carries an enormous backpack stuffed with school supplies, snacks and a change of clothes for gym class. There are fleeting moments when he wishes he was back in Queens in his neighborhood school’s ninth-grade class with his old friends and not in Brooklyn. But some of his friends have already given up on high school. As he walks the three blocks between the subway and the school he sees kids about his age stumbling out of the neighborhood’s abandoned row houses. He wants something better. To help kids like Trudon reach their goals, a college in New York City has teamed up with IBM to create an innovative program that fuses high school and community college under one roof…”
  • A path forward: Finishing high school with college degree, By Benjamin Wood, February 9, 2013, Deseret News: “In May, Travis Butterfield will earn his associate degree from Salt Lake Community College with credits to spare, a milestone on his path to a planned career in reconstructive surgery. Assuming, of course, that he graduates from high school first. ‘I still need to finish high school gym,’ he said. ‘It’s the only thing holding me back from graduating.’ Butterfield is a senior at ITINERIS Early College High School, a charter school located on the Jordan campus of Salt Lake Community College. There, Butterfield and his classmates split their time between courses at ITINERIS and college classes across the parking lot at the college, earning their way to a high school diploma and an associate degree simultaneously…”
  • Talented teens get a head start on college life, By Mará Rose Williams, February 10, 2013, Kansas City Star: “Danielle Doerr spent her morning studying calculus and conducting nanostructure research here on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University. Now, in the afternoon, she sits in the lobby of her dorm wearing headphones, soaking up lectures on quantum physics and neuroscience by Massachusett Institute of Technology professors…”

US High School Graduation Rate

  • National public high school graduation rate at a four-decade high, By Lyndsey Layton, January 21, 2013, Washington Post: “The percentage of students at public high schools who graduate on time has reached its highest level in nearly 40 years, according to the most recent federal government estimates released Tuesday. Based on data collected from the states for the Class of 2010, the National Center for Education Statistics estimated that 78 percent of students across the country earned a diploma within four years of starting high school. The graduation rate was last at that level in 1974, officials said…”
  • High school grad rate best since ’76, By Philip Elliott (AP), January 22, 2013, Detroit News: “The nation’s high school graduation rate is the highest since 1976, but more than a fifth of students are still failing to get their diploma in four years, the Education Department said in a study released today. Officials said the steady rise of students completing their education is a reflection of the struggling economy and a greater competition for new jobs…”
  • U.S. high school graduation rate hits highest level in decades, By Michael Muskal, January 22, 2013, Los Angeles Times: “The percentage of U.S. students graduating from high school within four years rose to its highest level in decades in 2010, while the rate of those who dropped out fell to one of its lowest in years. The latest federal report on public school graduates and dropouts, released Tuesday, paints an improving picture of high school education, but the results vary by location, a reflection of the reality that education policy remains a local issue…”

High School Graduation Rate – Georgia

Georgia failed to count thousands of high school dropouts, By Nancy Badertscher and Kelly Guckian, August 19, 2012, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Georgia’s dropout problem is twice as bad as school officials previously calculated, an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows. Using data for the Class of 2011, obtained through an open records request, the AJC found that 30,751 students left high school without a diploma, nearly double the 15,590 initially reported. The discrepancy came to light because this year the federal government made all states use a new, more rigorous method to calculate graduation rates. Under the new formula, the state’s graduation rate plunged from 80.9 percent to 67.4 percent, one of the nation’s lowest. Part of the reason for the decline is that the new formula defines a graduate as someone who earns a diploma in four years, though thousands of students take five years or longer. But the AJC’s analysis shows – for the first time – how much of the discrepancy stemmed from a failure to accurately measure how many students drop out…”

High School Graduation Rate – Texas

Texas’ high school graduation rate reaches record high, By Jennifer Radcliffe, August 3, 2012, Houston Chronicle: “Graduation rates for Texas’ black and Hispanic students topped 80 percent for the first time in state history in 2011, but they still lagged behind the record-setting overall graduation rate of 86 percent, the Texas Education Agency reported Friday. Hispanic graduation rates increased 3 percentage points to 81.8 percent, while black students’ rate increased 2 percentage points to 80.9 percent…”

High School Graduation Rates – Wisconsin

State, MPS post improved high school graduation rates, By Erin Richards, May 17, 2012, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Wisconsin’s public high school students posted a graduation rate of 87% in 2011, a figure that’s higher than the average graduation rate of students in 2010, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Public Instruction. The new data is based on a four-year rate calculation that counts only students who earn a regular high school diploma within four years of starting high school. It’s the second year that Wisconsin has had to calculate rates in the method, which is required by the U.S. Department of Education. Wisconsin’s average high school graduation rate looks more favorable under the old method the state used for making such calculations. Known as the legacy rate, it counts other students who took longer than four years to finish high school…”

High School Graduation Rates – Michigan

  • 4 of every 10 minorities or low-income Kalamazoo-area students do not graduate on time, report shows, By Julie Mack, April 20, 2012, Kalamazoo Gazette: “Nearly half of African-Americans and four of every 10 Kalamazoo-area students who are Hispanic and/or come from a low-income household do not graduate high school on time, according to the latest graduation/dropout report from the Michigan Department of Education. The statistic also is true for students diagnosed with a disability. Even six years after starting high school, a third of students in those groups still lack a high school diploma, the data shows. Numbers for the 35 school districts in the Kalamazoo area closely track statewide trends and have remained fairly consistent in recent years…”
  • Graduation data for Kalamazoo Public Schools reflects high dropout rate among African-American males, By Julie Mack, April 20, 2012, Kalamazoo Gazette: “Kalamazoo Public Schools counted 182 African-American males who started high school in the fall of 2007. Only 80 — or 44 percent — graduated on time last June, according to the state’s latest graduation report. Of the KPS African-American young men who failed to graduate, 39, or 23 percent, were recorded as dropouts and the remaining students were still in school but lacked enough credits to graduate. Among Kalamazoo’s African-American females in the Class of 2011, 68 percent graduated on time — the same graduation rate as KPS white males…”
  • Local graduation rate dips, By Justin A. Hinkley, April 15, 2012, Battle Creek Enquirer: “Michigan’s tougher new graduation requirements shaved 3 percentage points off of the local graduation rate. Locally, 77 percent of students graduated on time last spring, down from 80 percent in 2010, according to recently released data from the Michigan Department of Education’s Center for Educational Performance & Information. The local rate is the combined total of all 23 area school districts with graduating seniors. Of those 23 districts, eight districts showed improvements in their graduation rates while the rest posted declines. The Class of 2011 was the first in the state to go through all four years of the Michigan Merit Curriculum graduation requirements, which have been called some of the toughest in the country…”

High School Graduation Rates – Michigan

Michigan graduation rates dip only slightly under tougher standards, By Lori Higgins, April 10, 2012, Detroit Free Press: “New graduation and dropout rate data for Michigan’s class of 2011 show a slight decline in graduation rates versus the surge in dropouts some predicted after the state toughened requirements. Many had predicted this class would struggle, because the students were the first to comply with the state’s new graduation requirements, which mandate a heavier dose of math and science than previous students had taken. But a first look at the data — from the state Center for Educational Performance and Information — finds those dire predictions didn’t come true. Nearly 15,000 students — or 11.13% — of the class dropped out, up slightly from 11.07% for the class of 2010…”

High School Graduation Rates – Georgia, Washington DC

  • Under new formula, Georgia graduation rate reset to 67.4 percent, By Nancy Badertscher, April 10, 2012, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Georgia’s graduation rate has been revised downward to 67.4 percent based on a new and more uniform method of calculating how many of the nation’s students make it through high school in four years, it was announced Tuesday. That’s 12.6 percentage points less than the 80-plus percent graduation rate that’s been celebrated in this state in recent years. But it’s also less than the tumble that some predicted would follow a new federal requirement that eliminates a hodge-podge of state formulas in favor of a single — and what most agree is a more accurate — method of calculating graduation rates. In some states, the new method is yielding rates that are 20 percentage points lower than states previously reported. In February 2010, state School Superintendent John Barge warned that Georgia’s graduation rate could fall to 64 percent…”
  • In D.C. schools, 59 percent of students get diploma on time, By Bill Turque, April 5, 2012, Washington Post: “Less than 60 percent of D.C. high school students graduated on time in 2011, according to a new and more rigorous calculation of completion rates announced Thursday. Figures released by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education show that 58.6 percent of students in the Class of 2011 obtained high school diplomas within four years. That’s a nearly 20 percent decline over the 73 percent rate reported for 2010. The new numbers also revealed a widening gap between the city’s public charter schools and traditional public high schools in the ability to graduate students on time. Eight in 10 charter seniors received diplomas last year, compared with slightly more than half of those in traditional schools…”

Low-Income Students and Advanced Placement

Low-income students struggle with AP exam fee waiver cuts, By Stephen Ceasar, March 31, 2012, Los Angeles Times: “Because of a federal budget cut, tens of thousands of low-income high school students will face steeper price tags for their Advanced Placement exams this May – forcing many to scramble to meet costs and others to forgo exams that could save thousands in college tuition. At El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, where nearly two-thirds of would-be test takers are from low-income families, anxiety over passing is being replaced by worries that students will not be able to afford the college-level exams they have studied for all school year. Rocio Ramirez planned on taking six tests, which now ring up to $204. Gerardo Artega has begun chipping away at his $151 bill for five tests by saving and paying the school $10 a week. And Alexis Lemus, who planned to take four exams, will now take only three – reluctantly dropping the English literature exam he feels certain he could pass. In December, Congress slashed funding from $43 million to $29 million for the federal Advanced Placement programs that fund fee waivers for low-income students…”

US High School Graduation Rate

  • Report: U.S. makes modest gains in graduation rate, By Kimberly Hefling (AP), March 19, 2012, Chicago Sun-Times: “The last straw for 17-year-old Alton Burke was a note left on his door. The high school dropout picked up the phone and re-enrolled at South Hagerstown High. Burke missed roughly 200 days of class, but Heather Dixon, the student intervention specialist who left the note, never gave up on him. Aggressive efforts to prevent students such as Burke from dropping out contributed to a modest 3.5 percentage point increase nationally in the high school graduation rate from 2001 to 2009, according to research to be presented Monday at the Grad Nation summit in Washington. The event was organized by the children’s advocacy group America’s Promise Alliance founded by former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The graduation rate was 75 percent in 2009, meaning 1 in 4 students fails to get a diploma in four years, researchers found. That’s well below the organization’s goal of 90 percent by 2020…”
  • High school graduation rate rises in U.S., By Lyndsey Layton, March 16, 2012, Washington Post: “More high school students across the country are graduating on time but dropouts continue to be a significant national problem, creating a drag on the economy, according to a report to be issued Monday by a nonprofit group headed by former secretary of state Colin L. Powell. The national graduation rate increased to 75.5 percent in 2009, up from 72 percent in 2001. And the number of ‘dropout factories’ – high schools where at least 60 percent of students do not graduate on time – fell from 2,007 in 2002 to 1,550 in 2010…”

High School Graduation Rate – Indiana

  • Indiana’s graduation rate is up; so is waiver use, By Scott Elliott, February 7, 2012, Indianapolis Star: “The graduation rate at Indianapolis Public Schools gained for the fifth straight year, to 64 percent, but at some schools, many of those graduates earned diplomas without passing state exams. Those IPS graduates were not alone last school year. The statewide use of waivers – exempting students from the requirement to pass state tests in English and algebra – has been creeping up, reaching 8 percent last year. Five percent of Indiana graduates used waivers in 2005. Factors playing into that trend include pressure on schools to achieve good state ratings, the difficulty of new high school end-of-course exams students are required to pass, and the use of alternative programs that aim to keep kids in school by letting them make up credits on the side…”
  • Indiana’s rate of graduation at record 85%, By Devon Haynie, February 7, 2012, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: “Indiana’s graduation rate improved to 85.7 percent in the 2010-11 school year, breaking state records and increasing by 1.6 percentage points over last year. The graduation rate is the highest Indiana has achieved since the state began measuring the four-year cohort graduation rate in 2005, according to the Indiana Department of Education, which publicly released the data today. A record-high 171 public schools reached 90 percent or more of their students graduating in four years. In 2009, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett listed a 90 percent gradation rate as one of his primary goals for most Indiana schools…”

High School Dropout Ages and Graduation Rates

  • Obama wades into issue of raising dropout age, By Tamar Lewin, January 25, 2012, New York Times: “President Obama’s State of the Union call for every state to require students to stay in school until they turn 18 is Washington’s first direct involvement in an issue that many governors and state legislators have found tough to address. While state legislative efforts to raise the dropout age to 18 have spread in recent years, many have had trouble winning passage. Last year, for example, such legislation was considered in Alaska, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland and Rhode Island – but only Rhode Island actually changed its law…”
  • Missouri, Illinois educators debate raising high school dropout age, By Jessica Bock, January 26, 2012, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “The legal age at which students in Missouri and Illinois can drop out of high school has inched up to 17 in recent years. Now, President Barack Obama wants states to do more. In his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, he called on every state to require students to stay in high school until they either graduate or turn 18. But some educators and researchers question the cost and effectiveness of such a measure. And they say that truly addressing the dropout problem requires far more than changing a number…”
  • In Ohio, dropout law hard to enforce, By Charlie Boss, January 26, 2012, Columbus Dispatch: “During Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama urged states to require students to stay in school until they graduate or turn 18 – a law already in effect in Ohio and 19 other states. Still, at least 23,000 Ohio teens dropped out in the 2010-11 school year. And only a small number of those kids took advantage of an Ohio provision that lets them ‘officially’ leave school if they’re at least 16, have a full-time job and have permission from a parent and the district. Most of those 23,000 were out of school illegally and could face penalties – if they could be tracked down…”
  • City students at small public high schools are more likely to graduate, study says, By Winnie Hu, January 25, 2012, New York Times: “New York City teenagers attending small public high schools with about 100 students per grade were more likely to graduate than their counterparts at larger schools, according to new findings from a continuing study released on Wednesday night. The findings are part of a study that tracked the academic performance of more than 21,000 students who applied for ninth grade admission at 105 small high schools, mainly in Brooklyn and in the Bronx, from 2005 to 2008. The study appeared to validate the Bloomberg administration’s decade-long push to create small schools to replace larger, failing high schools…”