Many U.S. schools report higher graduation rates

Published: Tuesday, May 24 2011 3:01 p.m. MDT

Many schools all over the nation are checking in on their high school graduation rates and many are finding some pleasant surprises.

In the last four years, East St. Louis Senior High School in Illinois raised its graduation rates from 40 percent in 2007 to 90 percent in 2011, reported KSDK, a local TV news station, last week.

The school attributes much of this success to a mentoring program that started for the class of 2011 when they were freshmen, the outlet reported.

New Hampshire has seen its dropout rate fall by about half since raising the compulsory school age from 16 to 18 in 2007, The Boston Globe reported on Monday.

"They succeeded beyond expectations," the outlet reported. "Efforts included online course options, internships, independent studies, and expanded vocational training. Teachers were able to personalize school for their more challenging students. And the combination worked. Now the Granite State's dropout rate is less than 1 percent."

Maine's graduation rates grew by a little more than two percentage points from 2009 to 2010, according to an article in the Morning Sentinel earlier this month.

In Utah, the graduation rate was 88 percent from 2007-2009 but grew by 2 percent in 2010, according to the Utah State Office of Education. Graduation rates have gone up or stayed the same for all subgroups listed since 2007 except for those with limited English proficiency, whose graduation rates went from 75 percent in 2007 to 72 percent in 2010.

Wisconsin also saw a slight increase in graduation rates from 2008 to 2009, but it did see a 3 percent decrease in graduation rates for English-language learners, according to a report by Fox 11 this month.

The Augusta Chronicle in Georgia recently conducted a study and found that schools with lower chronic absentee rates (or students with more than 15 absences in a school year) had higher graduation rates.

EMAIL: slenz@desnews.com

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