In the majority of states, high school graduation rates increased in 2014. Additionally, gaps between white and minority students decreased in most cases, according to new data.
The Washington Post reports that although complete nationwide data is not yet available, the U.S Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan says that the numbers suggest that the United States is on track for its third consecutive year of graduation increases.
In 2013, eighty-three percent of eligible students graduated on time. This is the highest percent since a uniform way of measuring graduation statistics was implemented in 2010.
Thirty-six states showed an increase in graduation. Delaware and Alabama were up over 80%, where Oregon, which previously held the lowest graduation rates in the country, had a significant increase at 72%.
Only five of the measured states, and the District of Columbia saw a decline in high school graduations. District of Columbia’s drop, however, was less than one percent.
While minority students are progressing, there are still significant gaps from that of white students. In 2013, Over 80% of white students graduated on time, while just over 75% of Hispanic and 70% of black students graduated on time.
2014’s statistics show the discrepancy between white and black students decreasing in 28 states. 32 states showed a closing gap between white and Hispanic students. However, less than 50% of the schools showed considerable progress between low and high income students, native English speakers and English learners, and children with disabilities.
Duncan, and his future successor, John King have expressed that the statistics are evidence that President Obama’s education policies are successful, and that Congress should continue their focus on rewriting the major educational law No Child Left Behind.