New data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that nationwide 77.8 percent of Black students who entered grade 9 in the fall of 2013, earned a traditional high school diploma in the traditional four-year time period ending in the spring of 2017. For Whites, 88.6 percent of students earned their high school diploma in four years.
The new data also breaks down the statistics by state. The highest Black student high school graduation rate was in the state of Alabama. There, 86.5 percent of Black students graduated within four years, compared to 91 percent of White students. In Texas, 86.1 percent of Black students earned their high school diploma in the traditional four-year period compared to 93.6 eprcent of White students. Maryland was the only other state that had a Black student graduation rate above 85 percent.
The lowest high school graduation rate for Blacks was in the state of Minnesota. There, 64 percent of Black students graduated from high school within four years. For White students in Minnesota, the graduation rate was 88.1 percent. The other states where the Black student high school graduation rate was below 70 percent are Wisconsin, Oregon, Ohio, New Mexico, Nevada, and Michigan.
Wisconsin had the largest racial gap in high school graduation rates of 25.7 percentage points. The White rate was 92.7 percent and the Black rate was 67 percent. There were no states where the Black graduation rate exceeded the White rate. In Hawaii, the racial gap between Blacks and Whites was only one percentage point.