New Data on National Graduation Rates Point to Need for Community-based Solutions to Dropout Crisis

Last Updated by Kellie May on

Cincinnati, Ohio, December 15, 2015 – New data on high school graduation rates released today by the U.S. Department of Education underscore the continued need for innovative, community-based solutions highlighted by American Graduate, a local/national public media initiative focused on improving high school graduation rates.

The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics today showed that the graduation rate for the nation's class of 2014 reached a record high 82 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point from the class of 2013's graduation rate.

Graduation rates for several student demographics rose as well from the class of 2013 to the class of 2014, except for American Indian and Alaskan Native students, for whom rates remained virtually flat. But significant gaps remain, particularly between white students and their black and Hispanic counterparts, and economically disadvantaged students.

The data follows the passage last week of the Every Student Succeeds Act (or ESSA), the first major national education overhaul since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001.

“CET is pleased to be a partner in the cradle-to-career efforts in Cincinnati, working closely with community partners on efforts around mentoring and making the crucial transition to college after high school graduation.  Through our focus on early learning we’ve also raised public awareness that the path to graduation starts with the early years,” said David Fogarty, CET President and CEO.

American Graduate, public media’s long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to improving high school graduation rates, funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, has been showcasing ways in which communities can prepare more youth for success in the 21st century workplace since 2009.

For more about how American Graduate is working locally, please contact Kellie May,, 513-345-6511. You can also see more examples of the work of American Graduate or


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