The Racial Gap in Four-Year High School Graduation Rates

The United States Department of Education recently compiled a new report on high school graduation rates in the United States. Nationwide, in the 2017-18 academic year, 85.3 percent of all students graduated from high school in four years.

For White Americans, 89.1 percent of all students graduated from high school in four years. For African Americans, the figure was 79.0 percent. Hispanics students had a graduation rate of 81.0 percent.

The highest Black student high school graduation rate was in the state of Alabama. There, 87.7 percent of all Black students earned their high school diplomas within four years. This was just 3.8 percentage points lower than the rate for Whites.  Texas had the second-highest graduation rate for Black students at 86.5 percent.

The lowest Black student high school graduation of 67 percent was in the District of Columbia. States where the Black student graduation rate was below 70 percent, included Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

In all 50 states, the graduation rate for White students was higher than the rate for Black students. In Wisconsin, the Black student high school graduation rate was 24.1 percentage points lower than the rate for White students. In addition to Alabama, the states with the smallest racial gaps in graduation rates between Blacks and Whites included Hawaii, West Virginia, and Rhode Island.


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    • They ALL have the opportunity to graduate, they just fail to do so. Most of the time because they don’t want to work hard enough to get the job done. I am a high school teacher.

        • Typical liberal response, attack the messenger instead of refuting the message. The truth is hard to take, but after 30 years of affirmative action in education and hiring, we still have a problem with some minorities applying themselves. Other minorities, like Asian Americans, have excelled despite more severe hardships than African Americans face.

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