New Data Pertaining to High School Graduation Rates in the United States

The National Center for Education Statistics in the Department of Education released data pertaining to high school graduation rates in the United States.  The report, “Public High School Four-Year On-Time Graduation Rates and Event Dropout Rates: School Years 2010-11 and 2011-12, First Look,” provides data by state on the percentage of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma and the percentage of students who drop out in a single year.  These data do not capture students who graduate but take more than 4 years nor do they capture students who complete school with an alternative credential or a high school equivalency diploma.  Eighty percent of students received a regular high school diploma within 4 years of starting 9th grade in the 2011-12 school year.  Students with disabilities had a graduation rate of 61% with a range from 81% in Montana to 24% in Nevada.

A second report, “Building A Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic (2014),” released by Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance, and the Alliance for Excellent Education, highlighted the 20 percentage point difference between graduation rates for students with and without disabilities.  The report highlights five critical areas that will help the nation reach a 90% graduation rate by 2020, including improving outcomes for students with disabilities.