Iowa schools had highest graduation rates in 2010-11

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 27, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa schools had the nation’s highest graduation rate in 2010-11, according to a U.S. Department of Education report released Monday.

Iowa graduated 88 percent of students. Iowa narrowly had a better graduation rate than other states, including Wisconsin and Vermont — both graduating 87 percent of students — and Nebraska and North Dakota, each graduating 86 percent.

The new data reflect the first time a uniform rate calculation was used by all 50 states.

“By using this new measure, states will be more honest in holding schools accountable and ensuring that students succeed,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a press release.

“Ultimately, these data will help states target support to ensure more students graduate on time, college and career ready.”

Jason Glass, the director of the Iowa Department of Education, released a statement Monday commending the state’s no. 1 ranking but said there is more work to be done.

“Iowa has the highest graduation rate in the nation because of the leadership and commitment that Iowa’s teachers and school leaders demonstrate every day,” he said in the statement. “A high graduation rate is one key benchmark in our state’s effort to become a world-class education system. However, we must go beyond making sure our students have high-school diplomas and take the steps that will ensure all students are prepared for college, careers, and for life.” 

— by Kristen East

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