Today brings grim national data on high school graduation.
Among the findings of the National Center for Education Statistics entitled, “Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2007-08:
-In the report, Georgia’s average graduation rate was 65.4 percent. Our lowest rate was among Hispanic students at 55.4 percent. In 2007-2008, Georgia had 20,135 dropouts.
-There were 613,379 dropouts from high school (grades 9 through 12) with an overall event dropout rate of 4.1 percent across all 49 reporting states and the District of Columbia in 2007–08. Indiana and New Jersey were tied for the lowest dropout rate at 1.7 percent while Louisiana had the highest event dropout rate at nearly 7.5 percent. The median dropout rate across the 49 reporting states and the District of Columbia was 4.1 percent
-Across the 47 states that were able to report high school dropouts by gender, the dropout rate was higher for males than for females at 4.6 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.7 The dropout rate was higher among males in every state. The male-female gap ranged from 0.3 percent in Nevada to 2.7 percent in Louisiana.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued this statement:
“Today’s report confirms that our nation faces a dropout crisis. When 25 percent of our students – and almost 40 percent of our black and Hispanic students – fail to graduate high school on time, we know that too many of our schools are failing to offer their students a world-class education.
“President Obama’s agenda addresses the dropout crisis with an unprecedented commitment to turn around our lowest-performing schools, including the 2,000 high schools that produce half of our nation’s dropouts and as many as three-quarters of minority dropouts. With $4 billion available for these turnarounds, we have the resources to transform these schools from dropout factories to college graduation academies. Our agenda also includes new resources to support states’ efforts to build data systems that measure whether students are on track for graduation – and how to help them if they’re not.
“I believe that improving our nation’s graduation rate is absolutely essential to the future of our economy and the future of our nation. I look forward to working with educators across America to raise graduation rates and improve the lives of millions of high school students.”