The national high school graduation rate has improved notably, with 78.2 percent of public school students receiving a diploma in 2009-10, up from 75.5 percent the year before, according to the newest figures released from the National Center for Education Statistics Tuesday.
In 2005-06, the rate was 73.4 percent, and in 2000-01, it was 71.7 percent.
The new NCES report reflects the best performance in decades by high school students. It is the highest graduation rate since 1969-70, when the figure was 78.7 percent. Since 1972, when the dropout rate was 14.6 percent, it has steadily improved, falling to 11 percent in 1992 and 3.4 percent for the class of 2010.
There were 38 states with an increase of one percentage point or more, in the most recent analysis. Overall, 3.1 million students received a diploma in 2009-10, the report, “Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2009-10” finds.
Student success varied widely, with an “averaged freshman graduation rate” of 57.8 percent in Nevada and 91.4 percent in Vermont. AFGR looks at on-time graduation rates for freshmen over four years.
The NCES analysis shows about 514,000 or 3.4 percent of public school students in grades 9-12 dropped out of the Class of 2010. That is a decline from the previous year, when a 4.1 percent dropout rate was reported. The states struggling the most with dropout rates were Mississippi (7.4 percent) and Arizona (7.8 percent), while New Hampshire has just 1.2 percent of students quitting and Idaho 1.4 percent. (Read more.)