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High School Graduation Rate & Graduation Rate Equity

President Obama established a goal to achieve a 90% high school graduation rate nationwide by 2020. The link between educational attainment and earnings potential is well documented. Research by the Institute for... Read More

President Obama established a goal to achieve a 90% high school graduation rate nationwide by 2020. The link between educational attainment and earnings potential is well documented. Research by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan shows that, on average, households headed by a high school graduate accumulate 10x more wealth than households headed by an individual who dropped out of high school. However, a study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that there is a significant variation in graduation rates amongst student cohorts, including federally-defined racial/ethnic groups, special education, low income, and English language learners. Given the relationship between diploma attainment and future economic prosperity, this disparity is an equity issue.

This indicator assesses the attainment of high school diplomas overall and by cohort. Data is available from the state Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education (DoED) requires all state and local educational agencies receiving Title 1 funds to calculate and report their 4-year adjusted high school graduation rate, overall and by select student cohorts. Participants are required to report for at least the largest public school district serving the jurisdiction.