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Civic Report
No. 31 November 2002

Public School Graduation Rates in the United States


Florida's miserable graduation rate
By Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters, Tallahassee Democrat, 11-25-02

Florida lags in high school grad rates
Contra Costa Times, 11-28-02
Study: New Mexico graduation rate just below national average
New Mexico Business Journal, 11-15-02
Florida ranked last in graduation rate
Boston Globe, 11-25-02
State’s low graduation rank disputed
The News-Press, 11-25-02
Illinois graduation rate 77%
Chicago Sun-Times, 11-23-02
Graduation rate lowest in nation, group says, 11-22-02
Big districts may explain poor ranking in grad rates
Gainesville Sun, 11-22-02
Study says few graduate here, but state officials disagree
The Daytona Beach News-Journal, 11-22-02
Graduation rates in Florida nation's lowest
The Florida Times-Union, 11-21-02
Study Says Florida Ranks Last In Graduation Rates, 11-21-02
Florida's rate of graduations worst in U.S.
Orlando Sentinel, 11-21-02
Florida dead last in graduation rate study
St. Petersburg Times, 11-21-02
Study says Florida has worst high school graduation rate in U.S.
Sun Sentinel, 11-21-02
Disputed study ranks Florida last in graduation rates
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 11-21-02
State's graduation rate worst in U.S., study shows
Bradenton Herald, 11-21-02
Hawaii’s high school grad rate put at 69%
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 11-21-02
Florida's graduation rates are worst in country, study says
The Miami Herald, 11-21-02
State again ranks lowest in graduation rates for blacks
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11-20-02
Florida has lowest grad rates in U.S. report says
Florida Today, 11-20-02


Center for Civic Innovation.


CR 31 PDF (67 kb)


This study uses a straightforward and reliable method to estimate the percentage of public high school students from the class of 2000 in the United States who actually graduated. Building on Dr. Greene’s work in a similar study on the class of 1998, the authors determine that only 69% actually graduated nationwide. While 76% of white public school students and 79% of Asian students graduate, the study finds that only 55% of African-American students, 53% of Hispanic, and 57% of Native American students do so. The study also gives the overall and ethnic group graduation rates of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, finding that for students from each of the three under-performing ethnic groups there were six states with graduation rates under 50%.


Executive Summary

About the Authors







Table 1: Graduation Rates by State and Race

Table 2: Ranking of Graduation Rates by State

Table 3: Ranking of White Graduation Rates by State

Table 4: Ranking of African-American Graduation Rates by State

Table 5: Ranking of Hispanic Graduation Rates by State

Table 6: Ranking of Asian Graduation Rates by State

Table 7: Ranking of Native American Graduation Rates by State

Table 8: Comparison of Greene Method and NCES Graduation Rates by State

Table 9: Comparison of 1998 and 2000 Greene Method Graduation Rates by State


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