Wisconsin graduation rates continue to climb

Mortarboard and diploma
File photo.

MADISON (AP) – Graduation rates at Wisconsin’s public high schools continue to rise, but minorities are lagging, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Public Instruction.

The class of 2013 had an 88 percent graduation rate overall, DPI reported. That is up from 87.5 percent the year before and 85.7 percent in 2010.

A recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics showed Wisconsin’s graduation rate for 2012 tied for second-highest nationwide alongside Nebraska, Texas and Vermont. Iowa was tops at 89 percent.

Despite the strong numbers overall, racial disparities persist.

The DPI report showed that 92.4 percent of white students graduated last year, while just 64.8 percent of African American students did and just over 74 percent of Hispanics earned their diplomas.

However, the trend for minorities was positive. In 2010, only 60.5 percent of African Americans graduated, more than 4 percentage points lower than last year. Similarly, Hispanic graduation rates went up more than 5 percentage points over that time.

“Through the hard work of teachers, school staff members, parents, and the students themselves, we are making progress to improve graduation rates for all students,” said state superintendent Tony Evers.

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