Racial Disparity in High School Graduation Rates

The U.S. Department of Education recently released data which shows that in the 2008-09 academic year, 449,261 African Americans graduated from high school in the United States. This was 63.5 percent of the black students who entered ninth grade four years earlier. For whites, 82 percent of the students who entered the ninth grade in the fall of 2005 graduated four years later.

States with large black populations that had very good black student high school graduation rates included Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, and Tennessee. States where the black high school graduation rate was significantly below the national average included California, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina.