The 2013 report, Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic reveals that the national high school graduation rate has increased by 5 percentage points and, for the first time, the nation is on track to meet the goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by the Class of 2020, if the pace of improvement from 2006-2010 is sustained over the next 10 years.
In Virginia, graduation rates increased from 74.5 % to 82% between 2006 and 2011. While Virginia’s graduation rates are on the rise, “graduation gaps” continue to plague African American, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged students. According to the report, Virginia’s graduation rates for 2011 were 86% for white students, 73% for African American students, and 71% for Hispanic students.
The 2013 Building a Grad Nation report puts it this way, “While there is no silver bullet to raising rates, the evidence consistently shows that the greatest improvements in graduation rates occur in schools, districts, and states where active, sustained, multi-dimensional, and multi-sector efforts are undertaken with the dual goals of increased standards of excellence and increased graduation rates.”
The report features public media’s work through American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, as a key to building knowledge, highlighting solutions and increasing community-based partnerships that contribute to progress in addressing the dropout crisis.