With a national graduation rate of 78.2 percent, the United States is on track to meet a goal of achieving a 90 percent four-year high school graduation rate by 2020, according to the latest annual report from the Building a Grad Nation campaign.
Since 2001, that rate has risen by 6.5 percentage points, according to the report released this week by a coalition of national education groups, including Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, the America’s Promise Alliance, and the Alliance for Excellent Education.
The report attributes much of the growth to improved performance by Latino and African-American students. Between 2006 and 2010, the Hispanic graduation rate grew from 61 percent to 71.4 percent, while the rate for black students rose from 59.2 percent to 66.1 percent.
Five of the 10 states with the greatest progress since 2006 were in the South, as were the seven states with the biggest drop in “dropout factory” high schools.
Overall, 1,424 schools were deemed “dropout factories” in 2011 (those in which 12th grade enrollment is 60 percent or less of 9th grade enrollment three years earlier). That’s 29 percent less than in 2002.
A version of this article appeared in the February 27, 2013 edition of Education Week as Completing High School