The National Center for Education Statistics released this week a report on public-school graduation and dropout rates, and the news overall isn't bad. About 78 percent of high school students have graduated within four years, the highest average since 1974.
Graduation rates by race and ethnicity are up across the board, with Hispanic students seeing a 10-point increase over five years to 71.4 percent, and black students showing a 7-point increase to 66.1 percent.
But it's hard to ignore comparative gaps. Asian-American students graduate at a rate of 93 percent--nearly 27 points higher than black students--while white students are at 83 percent.
Also, students of color drop out at a higher rate. While the national average stands at 3.4 percent, the rate for Hispanics is 5.5 percent, and that for black students is 5 percent. In comparison, just 1.9 percent of Asian and Pacific Islanders and 2.3 percent of white students are not finishing high school.
The maps below show graduation and dropout rates. The darker areas represent higher percentages of students either graduating within four years or dropping out of school.
On average, students on the East and West coasts complete school at rates better than students in parts of the South. Dropout rates appear to almost mirror that effect: More students drop out in the South than anywhere else.
Try switching back and forth between students by race and ethnicity.
This article is part of our Next America: Higher Education project, which is supported by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Lumina Foundation.
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