Sunday, August 25, 2013

Closing The Gap In Education

The charts above were made from information provided by the Pew Research Center (who gleaned the rates from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement). They show the graduation rates of various racial & ethnic groups over the last 40-50 years in the United States.

It shows that the high school graduation rates of all these groups has increased over that time period. But perhaps even more important, it shows that the gaps in education between the groups is also decreasing.

In 1962, Whites were graduating at a 49% rate while Blacks were graduating at only a 23% rate (or about 47% of the White rate). That gap has closed significantly. In 2012, Whites graduated at a 92% rate and Blacks graduated at an 86% rate (or about 94% of the White rate).

Improvement has also been made in the Hispanic graduation rate, although not quite as much. In 1972 (the Hispanic rate was not figured separately in 1962), Whites graduated at a 61% rate while Hispanics graduated at a 33% rate (or about 54% of the White rate). In 2012, Whites graduated at the 92% rate while Hispanics were now graduating at a 65% rate (or about 71% of the White rate).

These are good trends. They show that a high school education is becoming more prevalent among all groups. It also shows that progress is being made in closing the gap between the different groups. Is it enough? Not yet. More work must be done to make sure all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, have an equal opportunity to get an education -- and actually get that education.

It is nice to see that progress is being made though. Now we need to see that progress carried over to higher education also (college), where the rates of graduation between Whites and other groups is still far too large.

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