Education in the States
Nationwide, only about 70 percent of all high school students graduate on time, and graduation rates for poor and minority students are even lower. The failure to graduate every child prepared for the twenty-first century has serious consequences for individual students and their parents, but it also has major repercussions for American society at every level.
In an effort to provide more information about how high school students fare in a particular state, the Alliance for Excellent Education has created state reference cards for all fifty states and the District of Columbia that provide statistical snapshots of high schools in each state, including data on graduation rates, college readiness, academic achievement, and teachers' salaries. Where applicable, statewide numbers are compared to the national average and include national rankings.
To demonstrate the impact that high school dropouts have on a particular state, economic impact fact sheets have also been created for every state and the District of Columbia. These fact sheets help policymakers and the public understand the extent of the economic costs to society of an educational system that serves so many students poorly. It also provides an overview of the potential economic benefits that a state could enjoy were it to invest in a high school system that prepares all high school students for graduation and success after high school.
National and state figures are good to have, but how does your local high school measure up? The Alliance also maintains a Promoting Power database that provides information on the majority of the nation’s high schools. Promoting power is a good indicator of high schools’ graduation rates. If your local high school has a promoting power of less than 60 percent, it is very likely that it will have an unacceptably low graduation rate by state and national standards.
To access information on your state, click on it in the map below. National data is also available.
High School Graduation Rates
High school graduation rates for each state come from Diplomas Count 2008.
Estimated dropouts for the Class of 2008 come from Dropouts, Diplomas, and Dollars: U.S. High Schools and the Nation’s Economy.