The nation’s high school graduation rate, which declined in the latter part of the 20th century, may have hit bottom and begun to rise, says the New York Times, according to a report to be issued Tuesday by a nonprofit group founded by former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.
“The United States is turning a corner in meeting the high school dropout epidemic,” General Powell and his wife, Alma J. Powell, wrote in a letter introducing the report. The report cites two statistics. The national graduation rate increased to 75 percent in 2008, from 72 percent in 2001. And the number of high schools that researchers call dropout factories–based on a formula that compares a school’s 12th-grade enrollment with its 9th-grade enrollment three years earlier–declined to about 1,750 in 2008, from about 2,000 such schools in 2002. But the report notes that progress in some states and school districts had not been matched in others. Tennessee and New York made “breakthrough gains,” sharply raising their graduation rates from 2002 to 2008, the report says. In Arizona, Utah and Nevada, graduation rates dropped significantly…
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