Report Finds Shockingly Low Graduation Rates in Predominantly Black Inner-City Schools

Clearly, the first major hurdle to gaining a college education for young African Americans is the earning of a high school diploma. But it appears that just over half of black students who enter high school go on to graduate.

A new report issued by America’s Promise Alliance, the educational organization founded by Colin Powell, has found that high school graduation rates in the nation’s largest cities have dropped to dangerously new lows. Many of these inner-city high schools are predominantly black.

The report finds that, nationwide, about 70 percent of students of all races who start ninth grade go on to earn their diploma. For whites and Asians, the high school graduation rate is near 80 percent, but for black students, the graduation rate is only 53.4 percent.

The situation is particularly critical in many of the nation’s predominantly black inner cities. Among the 50 cities examined in the report, Detroit has the lowest high school graduation rate at 25 percent. In Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Baltimore, the graduation rate is below 35 percent. In the largely black inner-city schools in Dallas, New York, Oakland, Kansas City, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia, the high school graduation rate is below 50 percent.