At a time of seemingly nonstop bashing of Texas public education by ideologues and privatizers, we are pleased to interrupt all the negativity with some genuinely good news. That news is that Texas high-school graduation rates, as reported on the latest federal state-by-state comparison using a uniform method of calculating four-year graduation rates, are among the best in the nation.
Texas tied for the third-highest rate of high-school graduation in the country at 86 percent for all students in 2011—just 2 percent behind the top state in the country. Texas ranked number one in graduation rates for Asian (95 percent) and white students (92 percent), and the state tied for first with a graduation rate of 81 percent for African-American students.
Texas came in at number two for Hispanic students, at 82 percent. Texas also had the second-best graduation rate in the nation for children with disabilities, at 77 percent, and ranked second as well for economically disadvantaged students, at 84 percent.
Said Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams: “Of course, there is more work to be done to raise the rates even higher. But let’s give credit where credit is due. Thanks to hard work from teachers, administrators, students and parents, more Texas students are earning a high school diploma than ever before.”
The state-by-state comparison can be found on the U.S. Department of Education Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/documents/press-releases/state-2010-11-graduation-rate-data.pdf.