Students in the United States are graduating from high school at a higher rate than ever before, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. The nation's high school graduation rate hit 81 percent in 2012-13, the highest level since states adopted a new uniform way of calculating graduation rates five years ago, according to a press release issued by the Department of Education.
"America's students have achieved another record-setting milestone," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "We can take pride as a nation in knowing that we're seeing promising gains, including for students of color. This is a vital step toward readiness for success in college and careers for every student in this country, and these improvements are thanks to the hard work of teachers, principals, students and families."
Since 2010, states, districts and schools have been using a new, common metric—the adjusted cohort graduation rate—to promote greater accountability and develop strategies that will help reduce dropout rates and increase graduation rates in schools nationwide. For three consecutive years, graduation rates have continued to climb, which reflects continued progress among America's high school students.