California’s high school graduation rate has improved in recent years but is still mediocre compared to other states, a new national study reveals.
The study, entitled “Building a Grad Nation,” was done for America’s Promise Alliance, a consortium of civic and business groups headed by former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his wife, Alma. Its goal is to raise the national graduation rate, 81.4 percent in 2013, to 90 percent by 2020.
While citing progress in raising graduation rates, Powell says in an open letter accompanying the report that “we are running out of time to close large and lingering gaps in graduation rates among different student populations.”
California’s 2013 graduation rate, 80.4 percent, is a full point below average, although the state was cited in the report for adding 4.4 percentage points to its rate in two years. California’s superintendent of schools, Tom Torlakson, reported last month that the state graduation rate rose again to 80.8 percent last year.
Twenty-eight states had graduation rates higher than California’s in 2013, the study found, with Iowa, at 89.7 percent, Nebraska (88.5 percent), and Texas and Wisconsin (88 percent) coming closest to the 90 percent goal. Oregon had, by far, the lowest rate, 68.7 percent.I'll admit that I'm surprised that Oregon's rate is so low. Are all these percentages calculated the same way? If so, what is the explanation for Oregon, and for Texas?