As Duncan Departs, Obama Admin Gets an A+ in High School Graduation...

As Duncan Departs, Obama Admin Gets an A+ in High School Graduation Rates

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U.S. students are graduating from high school at a higher rate than ever before, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Education this month.  This week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan departed his position as one of the longest serving cabinet officials in the Obama Administration.

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U.S. High School Graduation Rate Hits New Record High

Achievement gap continues to narrow for underserved students

U.S. students are graduating from high school at a higher rate than ever before, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Education’s  National Center for Education Statistics. The nation’s high school graduation rate hit 82 percent in 2013-14, the highest level since states adopted a new uniform way of calculating graduation rates five years ago.

“America’s students have achieved another record milestone by improving graduation rates for a fourth year,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “The hard work of teachers, administrators, students and their families has made these gains possible and as a result many more students will have a better chance of going to college, getting a good job, owning their own home, and supporting a family. We can take pride as a nation in knowing that we’re seeing promising gains, including for students of color.”

What’s more, the gap between white students and black and Hispanic students receiving high school diplomas continues to narrow, and traditionally underserved populations like English language learners and students with disabilities continue to make gains, the data show.

“A high school diploma is absolutely critical, absolutely attainable and key to future success in college, in the workforce and in life. It is encouraging to see our graduation rate on the rise and I applaud the hard work we know it takes to see this increase. But too many students never get their diploma, never walk across the graduation stage and while our dropout numbers are also decreasing, we remain committed to urgently closing the gaps that still exist in too many schools and in too many communities.”

Since 2010, states, districts and schools have been using a new, common metric—the adjusted cohort graduation rate—to promote greater accountability and develop strategies that will help reduce dropout rates and increase graduation rates in schools nationwide. For four consecutive years, graduation rates have continued to climb, which reflects continued progress among America’s high school students.

To ensure the economic strength of our country, students must graduate high school ready for college, careers and life. The Department has invested more than $1.5 billion in early learning; implemented strategies that improve achievement and close opportunity gaps, and awarded billions of dollars through such grant programs as Race to the TopInvesting in Innovation, andSchool Improvement Grants; and expanded college access and affordability for families.

To view the graduation rate data—including a state-by-state breakdown

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer, comms strategist and political analyst. She created Crewof42 in 2009. The blog focuses on African American members of Congress and Black political power regardless of party. Ms. Burke also writes for NBC BLK, The Root, NNPA and is the Managing Editor of Politic365. As part of a diverse career in politics and media, she has also served as a congressional staffer for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) and Director of Communications for Justin Fairfax of Lt. Governor of Virginia. She appears each Monday on weekly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin on TVOne. Ms. Burke holds a B.A. in History from The American University. Email: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @LVBurke.

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