High School Graduation Rates In Ohio Have "Stagnated," Study Shows

May 3, 2017

An annual study co-authored by Johns Hopkins University says the U.S. high school graduation rate is at an all-time high: 83.2 percent. But the report released Wednesday finds that Ohio’s graduation rate has stalled.

Six years ago, Ohio ranked near the top of states with students earning high school diplomas in four years. But the study’s lead author, Jennifer DePaoli, says that since then, graduation rates for disabled students, students learning English, and black and Hispanic students have "stagnated."

"Black students in Ohio in 2015, less than 60 percent of them were graduating in four years," DePaoli says. "That’s really troublesome. It’s those gaps that are preventing Ohio from raising those graduation rates further."

In the study, Iowa had the highest rate of graduates at 90 percent, while New Mexico had the lowest, with a graduation rate of just over 68 percent.

DePaoli says education leaders must identify the poorest performing schools and intervene. In Ohio, almost a third of high school juniors are at risk of not graduating, and the Board of Education is revising standards to prevent that. The state legislature will have to approve any proposal.