Missouri ranks eighth in the nation for graduating 80.7 percent of its high school students in 2010, according to the Diplomas Count 2013 report released today by Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center. This is the second year the state has been in the top 10 and the fourth consecutive year the state has seen growth in its graduation rate.
"It is Missouri's goal to rank within the top 10 states nationwide on educational indicators benchmarking student success," said Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. "We're proud our state is seeing continual progress in the number of students graduating from high school, however ALL students must graduate and be prepared for college or career training."
According to this report, the 2010 graduation rate is 1.4 percent higher than in 2009, which was reported at 79.3 percent.
Diplomas Count 2013 also included an analysis of "recoverable" youths - young adults between the ages of 16 and 21 who are not in school and who have not completed a high school education. In Missouri, more than 39,000 individuals or 7.7 percent of this age group are considered recoverable and would benefit from educational intervention aimed at earning a diploma or other high school credential. Moreover, 68.4 percent of this group of recoverable youth in Missouri is not working.
The graduation rate also increased nationwide by 1.8 percent over the previous year, from 72.9 percent to 74.7 percent. According to the report, the current rate is the highest level of high school completion since 1973. While the U.S. is producing fewer dropouts, the report projects that one million students in the class of 2013 will fail to graduate.
From 2000 to 2010, Missouri's graduation rate gained 9.5 percentage points. Additionally, the state's rate has been above the national average for the past 10 years.
Improvement was seen in 2010 graduation rates for both black and white demographic groups in Missouri. The black subgroup increased a modest 3.9 percent from 2009 (61 percent) to 2010 (64.9 percent). The white population increased slightly by .6 percent from 82.6 percent in 2009 to 83.2 percent in 2010.
Rates declined for individuals of Hispanic descent in Missouri. The Hispanic population dropped a mere .2 percent from 68.7 in 2009 to 68.5 in 2010.
All states, public school districts, and local education agencies are required by the U.S. Department of Education to publicly report comparable high school graduation rates using its four-year adjusted cohort rate. The four-year adjusted cohort rate is a different method than the Diplomas Count report uses to calculate graduation rate.
Diplomas Count 2013 provides updated graduation rate findings for the class of 2010, the most recent year for which data are available. More information about the Diplomas Count report can be found on Education Week's website at www.edweek.org.