Monday, May 2, 2011

Increasing High School Completion

High school graduates earn more, live longer and make greater contributions to society on a number of measures than their peers who drop out. Additionally, High school dropouts face bleak economic futures and the cost to society is in the billions of dollars. According to the America’s Promise Alliance we are facing a drop-out epidemic in the U.S with one in four public school students dropping out of high school before graduation. The report, Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, addresses the challenges and progress impacting high school graduation in the United States over the last decade. Some of the progress highlighted in the report includes:

  • The U.S. graduation rate increased from 72 percent in 2002 to 75 percent in 2008.
  • The number of “dropout factory” high schools fell by 13 percent – from 2,007 in 2002 to 1,746 in 2008.
  • More than half of all states – 29 in total – increased their statewide graduation rate from 2002 to 2008.
  • The state of Tennessee and New York City led the nation by boosting graduation rates 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
  • Most of the decline in dropout factories – 216 of the 261 – occurred in the South.

For more information on high school completion, policy strategies for increasing graduation rates in your state and state specific and national data visit the PolicyforResults section on High School Completion.