The Roundtable works to effect positive change on public policy issues that are most important to supporting state economic vitality and fostering opportunity for all Washingtonians. That work includes sharing news and analyzing policy developments affecting our state.

Nearly a quarter of nation’s kids still not graduating

Ripped from the headlines of Education Week: Nation’s Graduation Rate Nears a Milestone

“At the beginning of the last decade, before concerns about the nation’s graduation rate ascended to prominence on the policy agenda, only about two-thirds of U.S. public school students were finishing high school with a regular diploma. A new analysis from the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center finds that the graduation rate for America’s public schools stands just shy of 75 percent for the class of 2010, the most recent year for which data are available.

The graduation rate, which has risen nearly 2 full percentage points from the previous year and 8 points in the past decade, has reached its highest point since 1973. At the current pace of improvement, the portion of students earning a diploma could surpass the historical high of 77.1 percent within the next few years.”

So, good news: the nation is approaching a milestone.  Education reforms implemented over the last two decades are working, albeit slowly. But, a quarter of our students still aren’t graduating from high school (the numbers specific to Washington state are very similar, check out our Benchmarks) at a time when we know that the vast majority of jobs will require at least some postsecondary education.  There is still significant work to do.  The Washington State Legislature can take action during the special session to implement additional education reforms that will keep us moving in the right direction.  We outlined our support for such reforms in this recent Crosscut piece on Monday.  Let’s keep pushing!

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