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Saturday, December 22, 2007

The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels

From National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) by James J. Heckman and Paul A. LaFontaine
After adjusting formultiple sources of bias and differences in sample construction, we establish that
(1) the U.S. high school graduation rate peaked at around 80 percent in the late
1960s and then declined by 4-5 percentage points;
(2) the actual high school graduation rate is substantially lower than the 88 percent
estimate of the status completion rate issued by the NCES;
(3) about 65 percent of blacks and Hispanics leave school with a high school diploma
and minority graduation rates are still substantially below the rates for
non-Hispanic whites.
In fact, we find no evidence of convergence in minority-majority graduation rates over the past 35 years.

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