High School Graduation Rates Are Improving

26 Feb 2013 |
High School Graduation Rates Are Improving

A new report from America’s Promise Alliance, Building a Grad Nation, finds U.S. high school graduation rates are on the rise, and for the first time are on track to hit 90% by 2020!

These gains are more equitable, too: the report finds that while graduation rates are improving for all students, Latino and African American students are making the biggest improvements. Between 2006 and 2010, graduation rates among Latino students rose 10.4 percent and African American rates increased by 6.9 percent, compared to a 2.7 percent improvement among white students.

Students are also attending better schools. Compared to 2002, African American and Latino students today are only half as likely to attend high school “drop-out factories” where less than 60% of students persist to 12th grade.

While this is great news, there is much work to be done. We must accelerate the current progress if we are to break down the remaining barriers to success facing African American and Latino students. We must also continue to work to make sure that all students earn a college degree to ensure that they are successful in the 21st century economy—we no longer live in a society in which a high school degree is sufficient to garner a high-paying job.

Promise Neighborhoods are rising to the challenge by creating communities of opportunity where high school graduation is the norm rather than the exception. An excellent article in the Huffington Post announces the findings of the new report and lifts up Self-Enhancement, Inc., a lead organization of a Promise Neighborhood and member of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink community of practice, as a model organization for raising graduation rates.

Keep up the great work, Promise Neighborhoods!