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Social Determinants

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Where We've Been and Where We're Going

The on-time graduation rate in public schools, defined as the percentage of students awarded a high school diploma within 4 years after starting 9th grade, increased by 8%, from 79% for the 2010–11 school year to 85% for the 2016–17 school year, moving toward the HP2020 target of 87%. During the same time period, Hispanic, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native, and non-Hispanic black students had the greatest relative increase in on-time graduation rates (11–16%). For the 2016–17 school year, non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander students had the highest rate of on-time graduation among racial and ethnic groups (91%).

On-Time High School Graduation (AH-5.1)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective AH-5.1 tracks the on-time graduation rate from public high schools.
    • HP2020 Baseline: In the 2010–11 school year, 79% of students attending public schools graduated with a regular diploma within 4 years after starting 9th grade.
    • HP2020 Target: 87%, a 10% improvement over the baseline.
    • The on-time graduation rate increased from 79% in the 2010–11 school year to 85% in the 2016–17 school year.
  • Among racial and ethnic groups, the non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander population had the highest rate of on-time graduation, 91% for the 2016–17 school year. On-time graduation rates for students in other racial and ethnic groups were:
    • 72% among non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native students; the best group rate was 26.3% higher
    • 78% among non-Hispanic black students; the best group rate was 16.4% higher
    • 80% among Hispanic students; the best group rate was 13.5% higher
    • 89% among non-Hispanic white students; the best group rate was 2.0% higher

On-Time High School Graduation Rates by Race/Ethnicity, 2016–17 School Year

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Data source: Common Core of Data (CCD), ED/NCES

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Endnotes:

  • Measures of variability were not available so percent differences and trends could not be tested for statistical significance.
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.
  • On-time graduation rates are measured using the 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR). The 4-year ACGR is the number of students who graduate in 4 years or less with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. From the beginning of 9th grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is “adjusted” by adding any students who subsequently transfer into the cohort and subtracting any students who subsequently transfer out, emigrate to another country, or die.
  • Estimates are for the 50 states and the District of Columbia that reported all data elements with the exception of:
    • 2010–11 school year: Data imputed for Idaho, Kentucky, and Oklahoma
    • 2011–12 school year: Data imputed for Idaho, Kentucky, and Oklahoma
    • 2012–13 school year: Data imputed for Idaho; data for American Indian/Alaska Native students imputed for Virginia
    • 2013–14, 2014–15, and 2015–16 school years: Data for American Indian/Alaska Native students imputed for Virginia
    • 2016–17 school year: Data for American Indian/Alaska Native students in Alabama came from the Alabama State Education Agency website as the state did not report their data to the U.S. Department of Education
  • Data for this objective are available annually and come from the Common Core of Data (CCD), ED/NCES.

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