High School Graduation Rates Continue to Rise

       In the 2014 - 2015 school year, the high school graduation rate rose to 83.2% according to the National Center for Education Statistics.  This is modern day, national success story.  Twenty years ago, the national high school graduation rate was only 71% and it only rose a couple of percentage points from the 1998 - 1999 school year to the 2005 - 2006 school year (to 73%).  In the past ten years this important statistic has risen ten percentage points.  This is an amazing accomplishment!

       Our educational system is big.  17,000 school districts; 100,000 schools; 50 million students; and 3 million teachers.  This accomplishment isn't due to the effort of just a couple of school districts; or even just a couple of states.  This incredible increase says that we as a country have made it a priority to do everything we can to see to it that students graduate.  We understand that the world that our students will inherit requires an educated mind if we want these future adults to succeed.  We have heard this message and we believe it and we have taken steps in every school to make this happen.

       Even among our nation's poor students the high school graduation rate has risen to 76.1% -- which is a higher percentage than the graduation rate of the whole population of students in 1999.  Imagine the better life that will exist for these students in their future -- all because their parents and teachers and schools wouldn't allow them to drop out.

       So often we hear only bad news about our public schools.  We only hear about students who don't succeed and schools that don't have certain programs and teachers that don't have the tools they need.  We should celebrate the great successes we've had (such as the highest graduation rate ever) because they tell us that we are headed in the right direction.  They tell us that our efforts have paid off.  They tell us that we have achieved great success.  In the entire history of American Education we have never had a graduation rate this high.  This is something that all of us can be proud of because all of us have had a hand in helping this to happen.

       So thank a teacher, keep pushing your child to do well in school, and recognize that our nation's schools are working hard everyday to improve the lives of our students; your children.


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