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The Truth Behind Your State's High School Graduation Rate

The nation's high school graduation rate is at an all-time high — 81 percent. It was such big news, President Obama touted it in his State of the Union address.

So what's the truth behind this number? Our months-long investigation into how states are raising their rates, with reporters from 14 states, found a mix of the good, the bad and the ambiguous: In some places, questionable quick fixes like mislabeling dropouts or sliding them off the books; elsewhere, powerful long-term strategies to help struggling students make it.

That 81 percent, it's a complicated number and every state is different. So, we've compiled graduation info from each state (with help from the policy gurus at the nonprofit research group Achieve).

Look up your state to learn more about what's happening in high schools near you.


Did we miss something? Anything we should add? Email us at npred@npr.org

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elissa Nadworny reports on all things college for NPR, following big stories like unprecedented enrollment declines, college affordability, the student debt crisis and workforce training. During the 2020-2021 academic year, she traveled to dozens of campuses to document what it was like to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. Her work has won several awards including a 2020 Gracie Award for a story about student parents in college, a 2018 James Beard Award for a story about the Chinese-American population in the Mississippi Delta and a 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in innovation.
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