New graduation numbers show small steps in closing achievement g - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

New graduation numbers show small steps in closing achievement gap

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The latest numbers released by the state Department of Public Instruction(DPI) on Thursday show graduation rates at Wisconsin's public high schools continue to rise, but the graduation rates of minority students continues to lag behind.

The class of 2013 had an 88% graduation rate overall, an small increase from 87.5% the year before and 85.7% in 2010.

However, the DPI report shows 92.4% of white students graduated in 2013, compared to 64.8% of African American students and a little more than 74% of Hispanic students.

On the brighter side, the trend for minority students is positive. the graduation rate for African-American student is up 4 percentage points since 2010 and the rate for Hispanic students is up more than 5 percentage points over that time.

"Through the hard work of teachers, school staff members, parents, and the students themselves, we are making progress to improve graduation rates for all students," state superintendent Tony Evers said in a news release.

Graduation rates are also up in other minority groups, with the rates for American Indiana students up 6% since 2010 and the rates for Asian American students up more than 7.5% over that same time period. 

Other notes from 2013 data: Female students graduated at a rate of 90.6%, compared to 85.5% for boys. Economically disadvantaged students graduated at a rate of nearly 77 percent, compared with just over 93 percent for those who weren't in that category. And students with disabilities had a 69% graduation rate.

A recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics showed Wisconsin's graduation rate for 2012 tied for second-highest nationwide alongside Nebraska, Texas and Vermont. Iowa was tops at 89%.

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