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High School Graduation Rate Soars in U.S.

According to the 2015 Building a Grad Nation report, the national high school graduation rate hit a record high of 81.4 percent, placing the nation on pace to meet the goal of 90 percent on-time graduation by 2020.

A record 70.7 percent of African-American students are now receiving their high school on time.

While this is good news, the report revealed that students of color continued to lag behind in the race for the high school diploma. According to researchers, students of color, students from low-income families and students with disabilities are far less likely than their peers to graduate from high school.

Researchers say that high school graduation rates are not increasing because of broad national economic, demographic, and social trends. Instead, “the constellation of leadership, reforms and multi-sector efforts at state, district, and school levels drove this progress, along with concentrated effort and focus, graduation rates can be increased in every part of the country.”

The report is co-authored by John Bridgeland, Jennifer DePaoli and Erin Ingram of Civic Enterprises; and Robert Balfanz, Joanna Hornig Fox and Mary Maushard at the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education in partnership with John Gomperts and his team at America’s Promise and Bob Wise and his team at the Alliance for Excellent Education.

It’s no secret that a high school diploma is the key to success. Let’s hope that legislators, educators and other influential members of society make quality, accessible education for all a priority.

Click here for the full report.