The department says new collection methods mean individual state results can be compared with one another more reliably, but that data from previous years shouldn’t be compared with the new results.
So while half of states reported lower graduation rates and half reported unchanged or slightly better rates, the information isn’t an indicator of change but gives a “more accurate snapshot” of graduation rates, the department says.
“By using this new measure, states will be more honest in holding schools accountable and ensuring that students succeed,” says U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Ultimately, these data will help states target support to ensure more students graduate on time, college and career ready.”
Information from a few states and Puerto Rico wasn’t entirely available yet. Idaho, Kentucky and Puerto Rico were marked “not applicable” and Oklahoma was not available.
The top states were:
Iowa: 88 percent
Vermont, Wisconsin: 87 percent
Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas: 86 percent
The lowest-ranked were:
New Mexico: 63 percent
Nevada: 62 percent
District of Columbia: 59 percent
For more information and to see the full list of state graduation rates, as well as interactive maps, go to ED Data Express.