POLITICS
10/17/2016 08:11 am ET Updated Oct 17, 2016

United States High School Graduation Rate Reaches A Record High

More and more kids are getting their high school diplomas.

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press
President Barack Obama is expected to talk about rising high school graduation rates while at a magnet school in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

The United States reached a milestone high school graduation rate, the White House announced Monday. During the 2014-2015 school year, 83.2 percent of students graduated in four years, up nearly a percentage point from the previous year, when 82.3 percent of students got a diploma. 

The nation’s high school graduation rate has risen steadily since 2010-2011, when states started using a consistent, four-year adjusted standard to measure high school completion. During that first year, only 79 percent of high schoolers graduated. 

Graduation rates during 2014-2015 grew for every reported student subgroup, including American Indian/Alaskan Natives, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, blacks, whites, low-income students, students with disabilities and English language learners, according to the White House. However, achievement gaps persisted. Asian/Pacific Islander students had the highest graduation rates, at 90.2 percent, followed by white students, at 87.6 percent. On the other end of the spectrum, American Indian/Alaska Native students had a graduation rate of 71.6 percent. Students with disabilities and English language learners graduated at rates of 64.6 percent and and 65.1 percent, respectively.

Since 2010-2011, English language learners have made the most progress of any student subgroup, improving their graduation rates 8.1 percentage points. Black students have also made substantial progress during that time, with graduation rates improving 7.6 points.

President Barack Obama is expected to discuss the gains Monday while speaking at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, a magnet school in Washington, D.C. During the last year, Washington made more progress than anywhere else in the nation in improving graduation rates: They rose 7 percentage points, shooting from 61.4 percent to 68.5 percent.

President Barack Obama discussed the gains Monday while speaking at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, a magnet school in Washington, D.C. During the last year, Washington made more progress than anywhere else in the nation in improving graduation rates: They rose 7 percentage points, shooting from 61.4 percent to 68.5 percent.

“We’ve made real progress,” the president told students, speaking of the country’s educational gains over his time in office. “You are the reason we’ve made progress ― some outstanding young people all across the country ... More African-American and Latina students are graduating than ever before.”

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