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High School Graduation Rate Reaches a New High

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April 30, 2014

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High School Graduation Rate Reaches a New High

The U.S. high school graduation rate has risen to 80 percent, according to new data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

NCES has published the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) and, for the first time, the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) for school years 2010-11 and 2011-12. Both rates measure four-year, on-time graduation with a regular high school diploma, but the method of calculation used for the ACGR is thought to be more accurate. However, NCES will continue to use the AFGR as well, in order to compare rates over time.  

The ACGR and AFGR for 2010-11 was 79 percent and 80 percent, respectively, and 80 percent and 81 percent for 2011-12. The dropout rate held steady at 3.3 percent for both years.

In addition, female students graduated at a higher rate than male students--7 percentage points higher, both years. White and Asian/Pacific Islander students had graduation rates above the average, while African-American, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native students, as well as economically disadvantaged students, students with limited English proficiency and students with disabilities, graduated at lower rates.

While this report did not look at CTE concentrators specifically, we know that their graduation rate is extremely high--in 2007-08, CTE concentrators graduated at a rate of 90 percent, compared to a 75 percent AFGR.

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