While California is among six states with the highest percentage of Latino high school students, Texas is the only state among the six where 85 percent of Latino high school students graduate, a figure that is above the national graduation rate of 81.4 percent for all students, according to a newly-released report on high school graduation rates.
The report, “Building a Grad Nation,” by the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University with the Washington D.C.- based Alliance for Excellence in Education, found that more African-American and Latino students are graduating.
The report analyzed data between 2011 and 2013 and found that graduation rates among Latino high school students nationally rose 4.2 percentage points and 3.7 percentage points among African-Americans.
Among the reasons the report cited for the gains in graduation rates among Latinos and African-Americans was the closure of many schools across the country known as “dropout factories,” or schools with exceedingly low graduation rates.
While African-American and Latino high school graduation rates have climbed, “unacceptably low levels” of lower-income students and students with disabilities or who are English language learners are graduating from high school, according to the report.
The graduation rate for low-income students, for example, is 15 percentage points lower than it is for middle class and affluent students, which is 88.2 percent, according to the report.
The graduation rate also varied sharply from state to state. Low-income students have a much better chance of graduating high school if they live in, for example, Kentucky than if they live in Alaska, according to the report. More than 85 percent of high school students from poorer backgrounds graduate high school in Kentucky, but only 59 percent of low-income high school students earn a diploma in Alaska.
Although up to 90 percent of special education students would be able to meet graduate requirements if they had access to appropriate support, only about 62 percent of the nation’s students with disabilities graduate high school, according to the report.
To learn more, read the report here.