Good news hit the US media outlets on April 28th. A study showed that over 80% of high school students in the US graduated on time this year.

For the first time in U.S. history the nation’s high school graduation rate rose above 80 percent, according to the 2014 Building a GradNation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic report released April 28 by Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education.

While more than eight in 10 public high school students are graduating on time, Building a GradNation shows more good news: the number of students enrolled in dropout factories has dropped 47 percent over the last decade, students of color have led the way in increasing graduation rates and leaving dropout factory high schools, and these increases have come as standards to graduate have gotten tougher.

The report, which was released at the 2014 Building A GradNation Summit, indicates the national graduation rate has crossed a momentous threshold. (See article here.)

Good news, yes?

There was a time in this country when graduating from the 8th Grade warranted a ceremony and celebration, much as graduation from high school does today. So yes, we’ve come a long way. And according to the statistics, that rate should reach 90% by 2020…an even longer way!

Yes, there is a “but” in this post: the bad news is that special education, low-income, and minority students still lag behind the average, sometimes by as much as 10-15%.

New Hampshire, and our neighbor states of Maine and Massachusetts actually have a higher rate (see chart below) for all students, definitely good news.

The report does give what they call Focus Areas for reaching 90%:

1.     Chronic absenteeism, missing more than 10 percent of the school year, for any reason, is an early indicator of potential dropout. Often associated with lower academic performance, this can be seen as early as first grade.

2.     Middle grades are pivotal years, setting a student on a path to high school, college and career, or a path to disengagement and low achievement in key subjects.

3.     There are more than six million people between the ages of 18 and 24 who currently are not in school, in possession of a high school diploma or working. These young people cannot be forgotten, and need access to pathways to education and employment, and opportunities to take on the jobs of the future.

4.     Success in life cannot just come from a classroom education. Students need to develop additional skills, such as self-awareness and self-control, and collaboration and conflict resolution. Public, private and nonprofit agencies are working together to provide young people with access to positive role models, not just from adults, but also giving them the opportunity to learn from peers.

There is still work to do. Even an 86% rate, as we have in New Hampshire, and 85% in Maine and Massachusetts, leaves an awful lot of students out of the running to achieve the American Dream. We at New England Tutors applaud the hard work still being done in our schools. We are “in the trenches” so we know the problems first hand. That is why we work so hard to get those students who might benefit from private tutoring into proper settings. Our goal, and our guarantee, is “Success with every student.”

We want that graduation rate number to be 100%!


Graduation Rates In Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire

STATE All Students American Indian/Alaska Native or Native American Asian/Pacific Islander Black (not Hispanic) or African American Hispanic/Latino Multicultural or Multiethnic or Multiracial White (not Hispanic) or Caucasian Children with disabilities (IDEA) Limited English proficient (LEP) Students Economically Disadvantaged Students   


Maine 85% 72% 89% 72% 80% 73% 86% 70% 74% 76%
Massachusetts 85% 70% 89% 73% 66% 83% 90% 69% 61% 72%
New Hampshire 86% 73% 86% 76% 74% 85% 87% 70% 68% 73%
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