In the midst of reports surrounding a continuing education gap between students of color and their white peers, recent research shows that major improvements have been made in the graduation rate of black and Hispanic students.
The Pew Research Center reports that with the help of black and Latino students, the national high school dropout rate has reached an all time low of 7 percent for 18-24-year-olds who left school last year.
Although Hispanic students still have the highest dropout rate amongst all racial and ethnic groups, their number reached a record low of 14 percent in 2013, which is a major improvement from its 34 percent rate in 2000. Black students also reached a record low with 8 percent of students leaving high school last year, compared to 15 percent in 2000.
With a growing minority population, theses numbers are a sign of significant improvement in the education of black and brown students. The Pew Research Center data documents that although the Hispanic youth population has grown by more than 50 percent since 2000, its dropout rate for 18-24-year-olds has fallen from 1.5 million in 2001 to 889,000 in 2013. The last time the Census Bureau counted fewer than 900,000 Hispanic dropouts was in 1987.
While white and Asian students still lead the pack with the least number of high school dropouts, at 5 percent and 4 percent respectively, it’s good to know that more black and Hispanic students are taking the first step to further their education by completing high school.