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
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Be the Change: Strategies to Make Year-Round Hiring Happen
Learn how to leverage actionable insights to diversify your recruiting efforts and successfully deploy a year-round recruiting plan.
Content provided by Frontline
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Critical Ways Leaders Can Build a Culture of Belonging and Achievement
Explore innovative practices for using technology to build an environment of belonging and achievement for all staff and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning
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
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education

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 Teenager Balances Family Care, Work, and Credit Recovery on a Path to Graduation
Remote learning didn't start Gerilyn Rodriguez's academic problems, but it accelerated them.
3 min read
Gerilyn Rodriguez, 18, poses at Miami Carol City Park in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Aug. 19, 2022. After struggling with remote learning during the pandemic and dropping out of school, Rodriguez is now a student at Miami-Dade Acceleration Academies.
Gerilyn Rodriguez, 18, struggled with remote learning during the pandemic and dropped out of high school. A "graduation advocate" persuaded her to enroll in Miami-Dade Acceleration Academies in Miami, Fla.
Josh Ritchie for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness What It Took to Get This Teenager Back on Track to Graduate
Nakaya Domina had been disengaging from school for years before she left Cimarron-Memorial High School in Las Vegas in 2019.
3 min read
Nakaya Domina pictured at her home in Las Vegas, Nev., on Aug. 12, 2022. After dropping out of school during the pandemic, she returned to a credit recovery program, where her "graduation candidate advocate" has helped her stay engaged. She expects to graduate this summer, and will then enter a postsecondary program in digital marketing.
Nakaya Domina dropped out of her public high school in Las Vegas in 2019 but managed to graduate this year with the help of a "graduation advocate" and a dropout recovery program.
Bridget Bennett for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness Anxiety and Isolation Kept Him Out of School. How an Alternative Program Helped
After years of worsening anxiety that kept him from school, Blaine Franzel’s prospects for high school graduation are looking up.
3 min read
Blaine Franzel, 17, and his mother, Angel Franzel, pictured at their home in Stuart, Fla., on Aug. 15, 2022. After struggling during remote learning and dropping out of public school, Franzel is now thriving at an alternative school where he is learning about aviation.
Blaine Franzel, 17, and his mother, Angel Franzel, live in Stuart, Fla. After struggling during remote learning and dropping out of public school, Franzel is now thriving at an alternative school where he is learning about aviation.
Josh Ritchie for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness 'Graduation Counselors' Go Door-to Door to Find Missing Students
On tree-lined streets and trailer parks, workers knock on doors to offer students a second chance at graduation.
6 min read
LaTosha Walker knocks on the door of a home where a student lives that has dropped out of school due to attendance records to talk to them about enrollment in Lowcountry Acceleration Academy in North Charleston on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.
LaTosha Walker, an enrollment coach for Lowcountry Acceleration Academy, knocks on the door of the home of a student who dropped out of school in Charleston, S.C.
Henry Taylor for Education Week