City Desk

High School Graduation Rates Rise In The U.S., District Data Not So Clear

A new report from Gen. Colin Powell-led education organization America's Promise tracked graduation rates by state, and found that fewer kids are dropping out of school. The nationwide rate increased from 72 percent to 75.5 percent. There are some standouts, but also a lot of work to do, reports the Post:

Just one state, Wisconsin, achieved a 90 percent high school graduation rate. But Vermont was close behind, with 89.6 percent of its high school students graduating on time.

Researchers found that graduation rates vary by race, with 91.8 percent of Asian students, 82 percent of whites, 65.9 percent of Hispanics and 63.5 percent of blacks graduating on time.

In this region, Maryland and Virginia saw slight increases in graduation rates in 2009, to 80.1 percent and 78.4 percent, respectively. Researchers did not include the District of Columbia.

When it comes to dropout factories, the South and the suburbs saw the largest declines.

While the report doesn't track D.C. (and, really, comparing it to other states in this kind of research is sort of useless), it's also worth noting that D.C. switched the way it counted graduation rates earlier this year. The old method of counting produced inflated graduation rates of more than 70 percent. The new, standardized method is expected to show a 20-point drop in graduation rates for the 2010-11 school year, WAMU reported in January.

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