4-Year Graduation Percentage Hits Record

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State education officials say the percentage of Louisiana students graduating from high school in four years has hit an all-time high.

It was 78.1 percent in 2017, up from 77 percent a year earlier. The national average is 84 percent.

According to a news release Thursday from the state education department, the graduation rate has increased by nearly 6 percentage points since 2012, and by more than 12 percentage points since 2008.

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The state said 39,370 public school students graduated in Louisiana last year, a rise of 511 students from the previous year

The department said graduation rates improved for African-American students — 72.8 percent this year, up from 71.5 percent; and those from low-income families — 72.6 percent, up from 71.3 percent.

"We know our graduation rate needs to be better," state Superintendent of Education John White told reporters during a news conference.

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But, White also hailed the improvements.

"The bottom line is not only is the state making progress but historically disadvantaged populations are also making progress at a rate that is greater than the state average," White said, according to an account in The Advocate.

A total of 48 percent of graduates earned college credit or career credentials, up from 43 percent the previous year.

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Nearly 26,000 graduates earned the minimum ACT college readiness score needed for post-secondary training, up from about 25,000 in the Class of 2016.

More than 19,200 students qualified for some form of aid through the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, up from 18,373 the year before.



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