Special Reports

High School Graduation Rates Soar, Reaches Record Numbers


The White House has announced that the U.S. high-school graduation rate last year was the highest ever recorded in recent years. Moreover, the gap between minority students and white students has narrowed, in terms of gains, as well.

However, the Wall Street Journal reported that graduation rates among black and Native American students continue to be lower than white students. President Barack Obama announced the new data at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington.

"You are an example of a school that's doing things the right way," he told the students. "We live in a global economy. Jobs can go wherever they want because of the internet and because of technology. And the best jobs are going to go to the people that are the best educated."

President Obama noted that the achievement gap between minority and white students was partly due to "the legacy of discrimination." In 2010-2011, the overall graduation rate was only at 79 percent. This is the first year that all states used a consistent measurement. It rose to 83.2 percent in 2014-2015.

The graduation rate increased for all subgroups. 87.6 percent of white students were able to finish high school while 74.6 percent and 77.8 percent were black and Hispanic students, respectively.

Asian-American students consistently have the highest graduation rate at 90.2 percent. Native Americans are the subgroup with the lowest rate at 71.6 percent.

According to CNN, President Obama spoke to students about the importance of getting higher education. While he urged them to fill out FAFSA forms, he also admitted that there are still a lot of things that needed to be done by federal and state governments to improve the education system.

"We live in a global economy and when you graduate you're no longer going to be competing just with somebody here in DC for a great job," President Obama added. "You're competing with somebody on the other side of the world in China or in India, because jobs can go where ever they want because of the internet, because of technology. And the best jobs are going to go to the people that are the best educated whether in India or China or anywhere in the world."

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