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Selected Findings: School Year 2007–08

  • Across the United States, excluding South Carolina, a total of 2,965,286 public school students received a high school diploma in 2007–08, resulting in an Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) of 74.9 percent (table 1)1. This rate ranged from 51.3 percent in Nevada to 89.6 percent in Wisconsin. The median state AFGR was 76.4 percent.
  • Across all reporting states, the Averaged Freshmen Graduation Rate (AFGR) was highest for Asian/Pacific Islander students (91.4 percent) (table 2). The rates for other groups of students were 81.0 percent for White students, 64.2 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students,263.5 percent for Hispanic students, and 61.5 percent for Black students. 2
  • A comparison of data from 2007–08 to data from the prior school year, 2006–07, shows a percentage point or greater increase in the Averaged Freshmen Graduation Rate (AFGR) for 16 states and the District of Columbia (table 3).3 The AFGR decreased by a percentage point or more for six states during that same time period. In the remaining 27 states for which a comparison was possible the change was within a 1 percentage point margin.
  • There were 613,379 dropouts from high school (grades 9 through 12) with an overall event dropout rate of 4.1 percent across all 49 reporting states and the District of Columbia in 2007–08 (table 4).4 Indiana and New Jersey were tied for the lowest dropout rate at 1.7 percent while Louisiana had the highest event dropout rate at nearly 7.5 percent. The median dropout rate across the 49 reporting states and the District of Columbia was 4.1 percent.
  • Across all reporting states, the dropout rates increased as grade level increased (table 5). The lowest dropout rate was for grade 9 (3.0 percent across reporting states) while the highest grade-level dropout rate was for grade 12 (6.1 percent). This was also true for 23 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Across all 47 states that were able to report high school dropouts by race/ethnicity the dropout rate was lowest for Asian/Pacific Islanders at 2.4 percent (table 6). 5 The dropout rate for White students was 2.8 percent. The dropout rates for the other three race/ethnicity subgroups were all 6 percent or greater, with the Hispanic dropout rate at 6.0 percent, the Black dropout rate at 6.7 percent, and the American Indian/Alaska Native dropout rates at 7.3 percent.
  • Comparisons between high school dropout rates in the 2006–07 and 2007–08 school years could be made for 48 states and the District of Columbia.6 Among these jurisdictions, the event dropout rate increased by half of a percentage point or more for 10 states and decreased by the same margin or more for 14 states and the District of Columbia (table 7).
  • Across the 47 states that were able to report high school dropouts by gender, the dropout rate was higher for males than for females at 4.6 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively (table 8).7 The dropout rate was higher among males in every state. The male-female gap ranged from 0.3 percent in Nevada to 2.7 percent in Louisiana.

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NOTE: Because the findings are based on universe survey data, no statistical tests were conducted.
1 The rate excludes 1,161 diplomas awarded in Maine to students attending private schools that receive the majority of their funding from public sources.
2 The rate for American Indians/Alaska Natives excludes students served in schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education. Race categories exclude Hispanic origin unless specified.
3 South Carolina did not report graduates for the 2007–08 school year, thus a comparison between the 2007–08 and 2006–07 school year was not possible.
4 Vermont's data were suppressed because of the extent of missing data.
5 The District of Columbia and Maryland did not report race/ethnicity for dropouts. Vermont's dropout data were suppressed because of missing data. Delaware did not report dropouts for several districts that accounted for more than 20 percent of their Asian/Pacific Islander enrollments. The state-level dropout count and rate for Asian/Pacific Islanders in Delaware was therefore suppressed.
6 Caution should be taken when interpreting these data. Changes in the dropout data may reflect a real change or they could reflect an increased ability to identify students who dropped out. Across-year comparisons could not be made for Pennsylvania and Vermont.
7 The District of Columbia and Maryland did not report gender for dropouts. Vermont's dropout data were suppressed because of missing data. Delaware's dropout counts and rates by gender were suppressed because of under-coverage of Asian/Pacific Islander enrollments.


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