Education News

Flashback To 1973: US High School Graduation Rate Almost At 75 Percent

A new report shows that the high school graduation rate is improving in the United States. The national rate is now almost 75 percent. The last time it was that high was forty years ago, in 1973.  Where does Texas fits into the national picture?

Nearly 75 percent of students in Texas finished high school in 2010.

That’s a double-digit increase from ten years ago when only about 63 percent of students got their high school diploma.

Sterling Lloyd is a senior research associate at the Editorial Projects in Education. The research center in Maryland produced the report.

“There’s reason to be encouraged that the efforts of community leaders and educators to improve graduation rates are starting to bear fruit.”

Lloyd says one effort in Texas that’s unusual is school districts can serve students up to the age of 26. In other parts of the country, the cut off age is around 21 years old.

He says another encouraging trend in Texas involves Hispanic students.

“The fact that Hispanic graduation rates in the state are now comparable to rates for white students reflects substantial gains for Hispanics in recent years.”

The graduation rate for white students in Texas in 2010 was 74 percent. It was 73 percent for Hispanic students.

“Given that there are so many Hispanic students in Texas, we could think that Texas is driving some of the national improvements.”

Even with that good news, Texas has a lot of room to improve.

The report shows only 61 percent of black students in Texas graduated high school in 2010.

And Texas has about 200,000 people between the ages 16 and 21 who are not in school and don’t have a high school diploma.


Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

More Information