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ONLY 69 PERCENT OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS GRADUATE: New Report Examines Graduation Rates for All 50 States

A new report, Public School Graduation Rates in the United States, by Jay Greene of the Manhattan Institute examines high school graduation rates by state and found that the national graduation rate for the public school class of 2000 was 69 percent, up one percentage point from last year. The rate for white students was 76 percent; for Asian students it was 79 percent; for African-American students it was 55 percent; for Hispanic students it was 53 percent.

The new report builds upon a previous report, High School Graduation Rates in the United States, that Greene used to introduce. The “Greene Method” calculates graduation rates simply and with reasonable accuracy. The calculation is now widely used by policymakers and compares the number of students who enter a high school class to the number of students receiving a regular diploma.

According to the report, New Jersey (87 percent), South Dakota (86 percent), and Utah (86 percent) had the nation’s highest graduation rates. On the other end of the spectrum, Georgia (56 percent) and Florida (55 percent) had the lowest graduation rate. South Dakota, with an increase of 10 percentage points and New Jersey, with a 9 percentage point increase, had the largest increases from 1998 to 2000.

According to the 2001 Digest of Education Statistics, students who drop out or do not go on to postsecondary education have significantly lower annual and lifetime earnings than those who continue their education. Assuming that each works until age 65 and earns the average salary, a male high school graduate will earn nearly $333,000 more than a dropout, and a worker with some college will earn $538,000 more. A male with a college degree will earn almost a million ($945,670) more than the high school dropout.

Both reports are available at:

Superintendent Receives $25,000 Bonus for Closing Student Achievement Gap

Last week, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) trustees voted unanimously to give the maximum bonus, $25,000, to Superintendent Kaye Stripling because of the district’s progress toward closing the achievement gap between white students and minority and economically disadvantaged students.

Stripling’s contract stipulates that she will receive a certain dollar amount, a total not to exceed $25,000, for each one-tenth of a percentage point that the achievement gap is reduced. According to district information, the achievement gap narrowed by 2.235 percent.

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.