School & District Management

Broad Gains Seen in Educational Attainment

By Catherine Gewertz — May 17, 2010 1 min read
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Americans of all racial and ethnic groups are finishing high school and college in greater shares than they were a decade ago, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution.

Today’s story by my colleague Erik Robelen gives you the lowdown.

The percentages of Hispanics and African-Americans that completed high school rose significantly (8 percent). But before we get too excited, let’s note a couple of more sobering facts: Even with that progress, only six in 10 Hispanics and eight in 10 blacks finish high school, compared with nine in 10 of whites.

And these figures include people who complete high school by taking the GED, which many view as a big cut below a high school diploma. In a time when more and more people are saying a high school education falls far short of what’s necessary for a good future, and as the U.S. population continues to diversify, these figures and gaps offer plenty of cause for concern.

College-completion rates rose in the past decade, though more modestly. And we still see troubling gaps. Black and Hispanics lag behind whites, and whites lag behind Asians.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.