U.S. high school graduation rates rise; Georgia moves up a bit

Not the worst in the country, but far from the best.

Georgia now has the sixth worst high school graduation in the country; its 2014 grad rate of 72.5 percent puts it ahead of Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico and the District of Columbia, according to federal data released today. Last year, Georgia landed fifth from the bottom, so there is movement in the right direction, albeit slight.

ddndiplomaartThe top states had significantly higher rates; Iowa had a grad rate of 90.5 percent, and Nebraska had 89.7 percent. Most of the northeastern states posted grad rates above 85 percent.

According to the AJC:

The grad rate for one fast-growing Georgia demographic group, Hispanics, rose to 64 percent, up from 62.6 percent the year before, but remains near the bottom nationally.

In its announcement of national trends, the U.S. Department of Education said:

New preliminary data released today by the U.S. Department of Education shows that states continue to increase high school graduation rates and narrow the gap for traditionally underserved students, including low-income students, minority students, students with disabilities and English learners.

The nation has posted record graduation rates for the last two years, with the highest rate ever of 81 percent announced in March and improvement across all student subgroups.

“The hard work of America’s educators, families, communities and students is paying off, particularly after several years of intense work by educators transitioning to new, higher standards. This is a vital step toward readiness for success in college and careers for every student in this country,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “While these gains are promising, we know that we have a long way to go in improving educational opportunities for every student – no matter their zip code – for the sake of our young people and our nation’s economic strength.”

The vast majority of states – 36 – saw increases in overall graduation rates, while 6 states saw decreases and another 8 saw no change since 2012-13. The majority of states also shrank the achievement gap for black and Hispanic students, as well as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students. States that saw the biggest gains include Delaware, Alabama, Oregon, West Virginia and Illinois.

Since 2010, states, districts and schools have been using a new, common metric — the adjusted cohort graduation rate — to promote greater accountability and develop strategies that will help reduce dropout rates and increase graduation rates in schools nationwide. The new data reflect that more accurate measure.

Today’s economy calls for critical skills that go beyond the basics. To ensure the economic strength of our country, students must graduate high school ready for college, careers and life. The Department has invested more than $1 billion in early education; implemented strategies that improve achievement and close opportunity gaps, and awarded billions of dollars through such grant programs as Race to the TopInvesting in Innovation, and School Improvement Grants; and expanded college access and affordability for families.

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17 comments
An American Patriot
An American Patriot

New preliminary data released today by the U.S. Department of Education shows that states continue to increase high school graduation rates and narrow the gap for traditionally underserved students, including low-income students, minority students, students with disabilities and English learners.


C'mon, now, would any of you really believe ANYTHING these people say?  I don't for a minute; however, I am thankful the biggest problem, Arne Duncan is gone, hopefully forever.  The only way Georgia's graduation is going to increase any significant amount is for the US DOE to be abolished and the responsibility for the education of our children be returned to the citizens of Georgia.  This will happen soon so, STAY TUNED.

Falcaints
Falcaints

How could it not go up, every meaningful test has been removed.  You can fail every milestone and SLO and still graduate.

palepadre
palepadre

Here is one situation. Illegals and those waiting to become citizens, take jobs away from young people at different levels. Because, the countries they come from, are not ones that give them many opportunities. The illegals are in job heaven, because they actually make higher wages than they did in their own countries. The waiting in line to become citizens, are in many cases from countries where the parents VALUE education and they are disciplined by their parents to work hard to succeed. Couple that with having BOTH parents in the home and this makes sure at least one parent keeps an eye on the child's progress at any time. Blacks from other countries, are not told they are being kept down, and usually end up being the boss of blacks born in America.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

“To ensure the economic strength of our country, students must graduate high school ready for college, careers and life.” This is getting pretty trite.

1.If you want to know if students are graduating ready for college, make the ACT, SAT, or Compass test mandatory. You cannot measure this otherwise.

2.If you want to know if they are ready for careers, we need actual, detailed, job titles, qualifications, hiring rates, and pay data by specific region for Georgia. Hint – many jobs do not require a diploma as evidenced by all the high school students doing those jobs. Are there enough jobs in Georgia for the current number of graduates? Schools take all the blame and are evaluated to death while the state would get an “F” for providing citizens with meaningful job and career data.

3.If you want to know if they are ready for life, you can put mastery of true life skills goals in the curriculum. A mastery of arithmetic application is passed over for a failed pursuit (for most) of higher level abstract math.

Wreck13
Wreck13

A 5th grade private school student could graduate from a POS government liberal indoctrination school in 98% of the schools in Georgia. 

Wreck13
Wreck13

@AvgGeorgian just look at how many go to college and you really need to see the numbers more that that?

Wreck13
Wreck13

@AvgGeorgian How much TAXPAYER money do private schools get? Please enlighten us. 

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Wreck13


Maybe, maybe not. Private schools get taxpayer money but don't report results to taxpayers.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Wreck13

Do you actually have any data to back that up, or are you just one of the "45.6%" of people who like to pull stats out of thin air to make it seem as though they have data to back up their opinions?

booful98
booful98

Well of course they did. They took away the graduation requirements.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Did the graduation rate increase come just after they did away with the GHSGT?

redweather
redweather

Do these figures include charter high school students, or just traditional public high school students?

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@redweather I believe all public high school grads are counted, regardless of charter, magnet or traditional status. 

redweather
redweather

@MaureenDowney @redweather Thanks.  And thanks for posting the bad news about public high school graduation rates. At least the "education reform" crowd can't claim you're hiding this stuff. Well, on second thought, they could still make that claim I guess. Sometimes wrong but never in doubt.