The three lowest-ranked school districts were the Alpine district in Northern County, Utah; the Loudoun County schools in Virginia; and the Brownsville Independent School District in Texas.
Most individual states made gains. For instance, the District of Columbia’s high school graduation rate grew from 59 percent in the 2011-12 school year to 62 percent in 2012-13. (It’s still the lowest in the country, however.) Not every state showed improvement—Arizona dropped from 76 percent in the 2011-12 school year to 75 percent in 2012-13.
States were required to use this particular, uniform method of calculating graduation rates beginning in 2008, and full implementation took a few years. For the 2010-11 school year, the national graduation rate was 79 percent. The next year, it inched up to 80 percent.
A version of this article appeared in the February 18, 2015 edition of Education Week as High School Completion