Graduation rate nears 75%

The public school graduation rate is nearing 75 percent, according to Education Week‘s Diplomas Count 2013.   It hasn’t been this high since 1973.

While racial and ethnic achievement gaps are narrowing, Asian-Americans (81 percent) and whites (80 percent) do much better than Latinos (68 percent) and blacks (62 percent).

Diplomas Count also looks at dropout recovery programs.

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  1. I think some years back Detroit Public Schools managed to double the graduation rate in one year. That would certainly have been cause for celebration if it hadn’t been so obviously a bit of bogus number-manipulation.

    Or it could just be that many high schools have taken my advice and have had their diplomas printed on rolled, perforated paper making the metaphor the reality.

  2. Is the standard the same as 1973? Or higher?

  3. With the economy so bad for young workers, there’s not much incentive to drop out. Especially if you get free breakfast and lunch and a desk to lay your head on….

    2 hots and a cot. Why would anyone leave in this economy?

  4. Our country has never had a graduation rate much higher than it is now.

    I believe the all time record for high school graduation rate is 77%, sometime in the late 60’s.

    It is why I don’t understand all the hysteria about how bad the schools are.

    • I think there’s a statistically significant correlation between hysteria about the quality of the public education system and illiteracy rates.

      • Mike in Texas says:

        You mean, the 99% literacy rate the US has, according the CIA’s World Handbook?

        • No, but thanks for offering a source that, as usual, upon closer examination supports my view rather then yours.

          I was thinking of the National Center for Education Statistics report “A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in the 21st century” –

          What’s your preference? Prose literacy? The combined percentage of below basic and basic readers in 2003 is 43%. How about quantitative literacy?

          That’s defines as “The knowledge and skills required to perform quantitative tasks (i.e., to identify and perform computations, either alone or sequentially, using numbers embedded in printed materials).”

          Below basic and basic levels for quantitative literacy are 55%.

          That’s what I meant.

  5. Having been in school in the 50s-60s, I am aware of some of the differences in the approach to schooling over time. When I was in school, the severely handicapped were not present; either they were cared for at home or were in institutions. While that may not have been ideal, there was none of today’s pretense that kids with a cognitive age of 1-2 were either trainable or educable or that kids with an IQ of 40-50 were educable (but might be trainable). There was explicit instruction,and demand for suitable behavior and effort, in all areas of the curriculum, with the goal (usually achieved at my small-town school) of decent literacy, numeracy and general knowledge by the end of 8th grade, when some kids left school for full-time work. (clerical, farm, gas station etc) In HS, we had college prep, secretarial and general programs; we didn’t pretend that all wanted to go, or should go, to college. Only 2-3 of classes of 30-35 did so, but others did cosmetology or other vocational programs.

    • We also didn’t pretend that schools could, or should, address (let alone solve) all varieties of non-academic, economic and social problems and issues. Just because something is a good thing, doesn’t mean that the school should be the one to do it.

      • momof4,

        100% correct, due to the fact that when you and I attended (I graduated in 1981) schools were pretty much there for one purpose and that was education (the students who didn’t want to be in high school dropped out when they turned 16, which was the legal age you could drop out and went to work in construction, or other jobs, or into the military (they took high school dropouts back then).

        Fast forward 30 years, we’ve replaced actual achievement and knowledge with feel good malarky and self-esteem issues.

        I also wonder how many of those high school graduates actually know the material which will allow them to progress further in life given that only 40% of high school graduates are able to pass the AFQT (Armed Forces Qualification Test or ASVAB), 1 in 4 who take th ACT are actually prepared for college level coursework, and that 9 in 10 applicants at a manufacturing firm in Washington state couldn’t pass a 18 question, 30 minute, calculator’s permitted math test which measured 7th grade basic skills.

        We don’t achieve in this country anymore, we simply keep lowering the bar so more people can step over it.

        • And the bar will reach a certain low point where we will turn around one day and see the USA is now a 3rd World country. And the educrats will be flabbergasted and be asking themselves, “How did we get here? What happened?”