Tuesday, April 29, 2014

EDUCATION - Good News, High School Graduation Rates Over 80%

"What’s driving gains in high school graduation rates?" PBS NewsHour 4/28/2014


JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Some good news to report today from the world of public education:

For the first time in recent years, American high schools have cracked a milestone on graduation rates, reaching 80 percent.

Jeffrey Brown has the story, as part of our American Graduate project, a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  In fact, 81 percent of American high schools graduated on time in 2012.  That is up from 73 percent six years earlier.  The report is based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and was compiled by a coalition called America’s Promise Alliance.

Joining us now is John Bridgeland, president and CEO of Civic Enterprises, one member of that group, and he’s an author of today’s report.  He has been adviser to the American Graduate project.

And welcome to you.

JOHN BRIDGELAND, Civic Enterprises:  Thank you.  Nice to be with you.

JEFFREY BROWN:  So, what is driving the good news?  What — how did we get there?

JOHN BRIDGELAND:  Well, the significant gains in graduation rates have actually been among Hispanic students and African-Americans since 2006.

And these students, half of African-Americans and 40 percent of Hispanics, were trapped in these dropout factory schools, where it was literally a 50-50 proposition whether you graduated or not.

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