Here’s some good news. The Department of Education recently released a report revealing that the racial gap between black and white students when it comes to high school dropout and completion rates is no longer “measurably different.” This is an indication that while there is still more work to be done, black students have closed an important gap.
The study analyzed the percentage of 18 to 24-year-olds who left high school with diplomas. Between 1977 and 2016, the completion rate for white students was higher than the rate for black students. But in 2017, the gap became smaller. The study revealed that 93.8% of black students had graduated while 94.8% of whites completed high school.
The study also showed that the racial gap in dropout rates between black and white students has also decreased. In 2017, the rate was 6.5% for blacks while 4.3% of white students dropped out of high school.
Graduation rates are an important statistic because they are instrumental in predicting success. People who graduate from high school are far less likely to live in poverty than those who don’t. But it’s worth noting that in some cases, graduation rates have been inflated — in both black and white communities.
School districts in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, and other states have been found to engage in practices designed to artificially increase high school graduation rates. Some eliminated requirements for graduation. Others manipulated the credit system in a way that allowed some students to graduate without having demonstrated the appropriate level of aptitude. But there does not seem to be any evidence suggesting that these instances fully account for the increase of America’s high school graduation rates.
Education is a serious issue for all Americans. But lack of quality education has disproportionately impacted black students — especially those living in cities controlled by progressives. Leftist administrators and local politicians contend that the lack of adequate funding is the reason why education levels are poor in these cities.
This could be a contributor, but it is not necessarily the only issue. The truth is that the fact that black parents are not allowed to choose where their children attend schools means that black students are forced to get a substandard education.
A lack of quality education is one of the most devastating contributors to poverty in the black community. But even still, the fact that blacks are staying in high school — and graduating at similar rates to white students is an encouraging sign.
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