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Grad Nation Report Indicates Progress

A 2012 report indicates he United States’ graduation rate topped 75% in 2009, and dropout factories are on the decline.

Grad Nation has developed the Civic Marshall Plan, which outlines benchmarks to reach two main goals. The first goal is to have a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020 with all students ready for college and the 21st century workforce. The second goal is to have the highest college attainment rates in the world by 2020. The most recent report highlights many different studies and data points that plead the case as to why these benchmarks are important and how states are working together to achieve these goals.

• Nation’s graduation rate is up 3.5 percent from 2001 to 2009 and 0.5 percent from 2008 to 2009.

• As of 2009 the graduation rate was at 75.5 percent nationally.

• 1 in 4 Americans and 4 in 10 minorities do not finish high school.

• Education gap between rich and poor is growing.

• “As more Americans receive their high school and college diplomas, the skills gap can close, and our workforce can become more globally competitive”.

• High school graduates earn, on average, $130,000 more over the course of their lifetime.

• College graduates makes at least $1 million more in their lifetime compared to high school dropouts.

• The total number of jobs requiring post-secondary education is 63 percent.

• The number of dropout factory schools has declined. With the class of 2010, there were 457 fewer dropout factory high schools than in 2002 for a decrease of 23 percent.

• About 20 percent of states have been driving overall national improvements.

• 63 percent of states have a law that says a student cannot drop out of high school until s/he is at least 17 (some 18).

• 18 states still allow students to drop out at the age of 16.

• 32 percent of 25-29 year olds in the United States have obtained a bachelors degree.

These statistics from the report help highlight the changes that are being made in states across the U.S. The authors believe that the nation is heading in the right direction but more has to be done to achieve both goals in the Civic Marshall Plan. For example, the U.S.’s graduation rate needs to increase by 14.4 percent from 2010-2020 in order to reach the goal of 90 percent graduation rates.