News in Brief

High School Graduation Rate Reaches Another All-Time High

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

The U.S. high school graduation rate has risen for yet another year, to a new all-time high. But even as some celebrated the steady gains, others worried that the pace of improvement is slowing and that the numbers tell a false story.

Figures released last month by the U.S. Department of Education show that 84.6 percent of the students in the class of 2016-17 earned diplomas in four years. That's a half-point better than in 2015-16, when the graduation rate was 84.1 percent.

Leaders of GradNation, a campaign to raise high school completion rates, rang an alarm bell, warning that it's the first time since 2011 that the graduation rate hasn't shown year-to-year improvements of almost a full percentage point.

Also, questions persist about what is fueling the steady rise. While many schools have focused energy on better supporting students so they can finish high school, studies and anecdotes suggest that some may have edged into dubious tactics—such as creating diploma mills with quick, online catch-up courses—in order to look good when annual accountability reports come out.

Vol. 38, Issue 21, Page 4

Published in Print: February 13, 2019, as High School Graduation Rate Reaches Another All-Time High
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented