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High School Graduation Rate Hits Record High

High School Graduation Rate Hits Record High

Recent data from the Department of Education finds that more American students are graduating from high school than ever before.

The national graduation rate "hit a record high of 81 percent in the 2012-13 school year, the data show," according to an article on USNews.com.

According to the article, "since 2010, states have been using a uniform method of calculating graduation rates called the adjusted cohort graduation rate, which measures the number of students from an original cohort who graduated in four years with a diploma. The calculation adds students who transfer into the cohort and subtracts those who transfer out [to another state or country] or die. Before, states had varying methods for calculating graduation rates."

"America’s students have achieved another record-setting milestone," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement in the article. "We can take pride as a nation in knowing that we’re seeing promising gains, including for students of color. This is a vital step toward readiness for success in college and careers for every student in this country, and these improvements are thanks to the hard work of teachers, principals, students and families."

"The article said that in its release of the data, "the department also credited several controversial federal initiatives – including the Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and School Improvement Grants programs – for gains in closing achievement and opportunity gaps among students."

"It also emphasized the need to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as No Child Left Behind, with 'a law that not only ensures students are prepared for college, careers and life, but also delivers on the promise of equity and real opportunity for every child,'" the article said.

According to the article, "Duncan in January laid out his priorities for an updated No Child Left Behind bill, which include a greater focus on high-quality preschool, increased resources for K-12 schools and a reduction of duplicative tests at the state and local levels. Doing so will help better prepare students for college and the workforce, he has said."

"The new record graduation rate follows the previous school year's record-high rate of 80 percent," the article said. "According to the new data, more than half of all states had graduation rates above the national average. Iowa had the highest graduation rate, at 90 percent, followed by five states [Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin] that all had graduation rates of 88 percent in 2012-13. The District of Columbia had the lowest graduation rate in the nation, at 62 percent."

John Gomperts, president and CEO of America's Promise Alliance, said in the article that "increases in the last decade have led to nearly 2 million additional students earning high school diplomas."

"When schools are held accountable and students are given support to help them stay in school and on track, real progress is possible," Gomperts said in a statement featured in the article. "However, much work remains. Looking forward, we will focus on what more can be done so that all young people have the foundation they need to succeed in school and life."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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