Wisconsin high school graduation rate ranks third in nation

But racial, class achievement gaps persist

Graduation education

Wisconsin ranks third in the nation when it comes to graduating high school on time, according to data released last week from a national study.

Graduation education

The study, co-authored by a public policy firm called Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, tracked the rate of students who started high school in 2010 and graduated in four years.

Wisconsin’s rate of 88.6 percent was eclipsed by only Iowa (90.5) and Nebraska (89.7).

But the state fell to the middle of the pack when it came to achievement gaps between students of different races and economic classes.

While the graduation rate for wealthy and middle class Wisconsin students was 93.8 percent, it was 77.9 percent for low-income students. Though the state’s rates for both groups were higher than the national average, the gap between them (15.9 percentage points) was also larger

“Nationally, 89 percent of non-low-income students graduate on time compared to 74.6 percent of low-income students — a 14.4 percentage point gap,” the study’s authors wrote.

Achievement gaps also persisted between white and minority students in Wisconsin. While 92.9 percent of white students in the state graduated on time, only 66.1 percent of black students and 78.1 percent of hispanic students did.

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Ben Stanley
Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.