Special Report
College & Workforce Readiness

U.S. Graduation Rate Is 81 Percent Overall, 62 Percent for Students With Disabilities

May 29, 2015 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Download Education Week‘s Exclusive U.S. Report

The 10th edition of Education Week‘s annual Diplomas Count report—Next Steps: Life After Special Education—examines the experiences of students with disabilities as they make the transition from high school to postsecondary education, the workplace, and adult life. Diplomas Count 2015 analyzes state and national data to sketch a portrait of this population, which comprises about 3 million secondary-school-aged students nationwide. The report examines this group’s achievement levels, discipline rates, graduation and completion rates, and postsecondary outcomes.

The U.S. is home to 2,713,214 secondary students with disabilities. The majority of these students (81.9 percent) spend at least 40 percent of the day in regular classrooms alongside peers without disabilities.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Despite a trend toward such “mainstreaming,” secondary students with disabilities fare differently than their peers both nationwide and within states on a wide range of educational indicators.

For example, students with disabilities are more likely to face disciplinary measures. Nationwide, 18 percent of secondary students in special education programs were suspended in 2011-12 school year, compared with 9 percent of students without disabilities, according to U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights data analyzed by the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the Civil Rights Project at the University of California-Los Angeles.

From 2006 to 2013, Diplomas Count featured the Education Week Research Center’s comprehensive original analysis of high school completion using a proprietary method for calculating graduation rates known as the Cumulative Promotion Index. For the second year in a row, the federal data used for the center’s original analysis was unavailable.

This year, for the first time, Diplomas Count uses as its primary data source the U.S. Department of Education’s Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR), the method states are required to use for federal accountability purposes.

For the class of 2013, the most recent year available for the federal metric, the nation’s overall graduation rate reached 81 percent, although students with disabilities lagged 19 percentage points behind.

The national graduation brief contains additional data on graduation trends and student subgroup performance.

Download Graduation Brief (PDF) View more 2015 briefs on states and the nation >

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Spotlight Spotlight on Inspiring Innovation through STEM Education
This Spotlight will empower you on ways to include more students of color, locate gifted students in unexpected places, and more.
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion The High School Network Providing Students With On-the-Job Training
Rick Hess speaks with Cristo Rey Network President Elizabeth Goettl about the network's innovative work-study program.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Class of COVID: 2021's Graduates Are Struggling More and Feeling the Stress
COVID-19 disrupted the class of 2020’s senior year. A year later, the transition to college has in some ways gotten worse.
7 min read
Conceptual illustration of young adults in limbo
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Helping Students Plan How to Pay for College Is More Important Than Ever: Schools Can Help
Fewer and fewer high school graduates have applied for federal financial aid for college since the pandemic hit.
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration of young person sitting on top of a financial trend line.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision<br/>