Pennsylvania Education Secretary Rivera Responds To Release Of National Graduation Rate Data

Dec 16, 2015, 16:08 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Education

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said data released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education's (USDE) National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) show the high school graduation rate has improved nationally, as well as in Pennsylvania.

According to NCES, the nation's high school graduation rate reached 82.3 percent in 2013-14, which is the highest level since 2010 when states adopted a common metric for calculating rates. At the same time Pennsylvania's overall graduation rate was 85.3 percent.

"Earning a high school diploma is both an important achievement, as well as a necessary prerequisite for college and career readiness," Rivera said. "There is still room for Pennsylvania to make gains, especially in narrowing the gap in graduation rates among subgroups, but overall the commonwealth's students are measuring up to their peers nationally."

Pennsylvania also has a higher graduation rate than the national average for students with disabilities (PA: 70.9 percent/U.S.: 63.1 percent); English language learners (PA: 64.1 percent/U.S.: 62.6 percent); and economically disadvantaged students (PA: 76.5 percent/U.S.: 74.6 percent).  However, the commonwealth trails the U.S. average slightly for Black students (PA: 72.3 percent/U.S.: 72.5 percent), and is five points behind the national average for Hispanic students (PA: 71.1 percent/ U.S.: 76.3 percent).

"As Pennsylvania engages in conversations about transforming the way we evaluate schools and students, factors like graduation rates are one of the tools that we should include in a comprehensive measurement," Rivera said. "There is more work to do, but the 2013-14 graduation rate is a benchmark we can work to improve while ensuring all Pennsylvania students graduate college or career ready."

MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Reigelman, PDE, 717.783.9802


SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education