U.S. high school graduation rates reached 80 percent for the first time, in a widely reported bit of good news recently. Citing the progress, researchers are projecting a 90 percent national graduation rate by 2020, according to the Associated Press.
As for Texas, the news was even better:
Iowa, Vermont, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Texas ranked at the top with rates at 88 percent or 89 percent. The bottom performers were Alaska, Georgia, New Mexico, Oregon and Nevada, which had rates at 70 percent or below.
Being in the same category as Vermont, Wisconsin, and Nebraska is unusual for Texas—a state with a high poverty rate, diverse population, and several urban areas with stubborn educational pathologies.
Commentators stress there is much yet to be done, and there is always controversy over the methodology used in measurement.
Texas community college teachers will likely greet the news with cautious optimism over how the good news might affect completion rates of two-year college students. Let's hope the high school graduation rates reflect better academic preparation for at-risk populations when they go to college.