Minorities Have ‘50-50′ Chance of Graduating High School, Study Finds
Half or more of Black, Hispanic and American Indian youth in the United States are getting left behind before high-school graduation, according to a new study.
The result is a “hidden crisis” that is obscured by regulations issued under the No Child Left Behind Act that “allow schools, districts and states to all but eliminate graduation rate accountability for minority subgroups,” according to the report published by The Civil Rights Project at Harvard and The Urban Institute.
The new report, also issued by the Civil Society Institute’s Results for America project and Advocates for Children of New York, notes that the minority high-school graduation rate crisis is masked by the widespread circulation of “misleading and inaccurate reporting of dropout and graduation rates.”
According to the report, while 75 percent of White students graduated from high school in 2001, only 50 percent of all Black students, 51 percent of American Indian students and 53 percent of all Hispanic students got a high-school diploma in the same year. The study found that the problem was even worse for Black, American Indian and Hispanic young men at 43 percent, 47 percent and 48 percent, respectively.
“The national (graduation rate) gap for Blacks is 25 percent; for Hispanics, 22 percent; for American Indians, 24 percent. Despite wide ranges within some states, nearly every state shows a large and negative gap between Whites and at least one minority group,” the report states. According to the data, the 10 worst states overall for Black and Hispanic minority graduation rates are: New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois and Connecticut. The report defines the “graduation rate gap” as the difference between its calculations for graduation rates of Whites and minorities.
“The dropout data in use today misleads the public into thinking that most students are earning diplomas,” said Dr. Christopher Swanson, a research associate at the Urban Institute. “The reality is that there is little, or no, state or federal oversight of dropout and graduation rate reports for accuracy. Incredibly, some states report a 5 percent dropout rate for African Americans, when, in reality, only half of their young African Americans are graduating with diplomas.”
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