High school graduation rates have been the source of a lot of news coverage—and conflicting emotions—in the past few months.
President Obama and 19 governors hailed increasing graduation rates in their annual addresses. At the same time, leading journalists and policy wonks have raised questions about those very gains and about the value of a high school diploma.
How to make sense of this optimism and skepticism? Let’s take it one step at a time.
First, there is no denying the progress in graduation rates. Just 10 years ago, the nation’s on-time high school graduation rate was hovering just over 70 percent, where it had been stuck for decades. Today the graduation rate is 82.3 percent, the highest in history. Read more