According to the new data from the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. students are graduating at record numbers for the fifth year in a row, with improvements for students of different racial and language backgrounds, as well as those in poverty or with disabilities.
The graduation rate for the high school class of 2015-16 is nearly a whole point higher than the one for the previous year’s class. The rate measures the proportion of each freshman class that earns a diploma four years later. While graduation rates for many groups rose, significant gaps remain for historically underserved communities. The report states that media investigations have found that some schools improve their graduation numbers by not counting some low-performing students in their graduating classes. Others try to get rid of students who are at risk of dropping out by encouraging them to transfer to alternative schools or by using credit-recovery programs that critics say are less rigorous than the standard course.
Education Week (2017). Data: U.S. graduation rates by state and student demographics. Editorial Bethesda, MD: Projects in Education. https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/data-us-graduation-rates-by-state-and.html