The national high school graduation rate is at its highest since 1976, but more than one in five students still fail to graduate in four years.
78 percent of high school students graduated within four years in 1009-10 – an increase of two percentage points from the previous year. Those figures were released Tuesday in a report from The National Center for Education Statistics – the data collection and analysis division of the U.S. Department of Education.
Vermont led the nation with an estimated 91.4 percent graduation rate within four years at public schools. Wisconsin came in a close second, at 91.1 percent, while Minnesota had an 88.2 percent graduation rate.
GRADUATION RATES: UPPPER MIDWEST
Iowa: 87.9 Minnesota: 88.2 North Dakota 88.4 South Dakota 88.1 Wisconsin 91.1
The report points to the struggling economy and a greater competition for new jobs as factors in the strong graduation rate.
The national dropout rate was about 3 percent overall, down from the year before. The dropout rate for boys was 3.8 percent, and 2.9 percent for girls The dropout rate was higher among boys in every state, but largest in Connecticut and Rhode Island at 1.7 percentage points.