The U.S. high school graduation rate reached another record high in the 2013-14 school year, with teens graduating at 82 percent, the U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday.
The announcement comes after the Education Department released preliminary data in October showing a decreasing gap in graduation rates between black and white students and white and Hispanic students. The new data shows that graduation rates climbed for the nation as a whole.
The U.S. high school graduation rate has steadily increased for the past four consecutive years, after states and districts started using a new, uniform metric to measure this number in 2010. During the 2012-13 school year, the overall graduation rate reached a historic high of 81 percent.
The new data shows that graduation rates have increased across the board for the past several years for subgroups like low-income students, students with disabilities and English language learners.
Further, the achievement gap in graduation rates between black and white students and white and Hispanic students continues to narrow. During the 2010-11 school year, there was a 17-point percentage gap in graduation rates between black and white students. By 2013-14, this number had decreased to 14.8.
“America’s students have achieved another record milestone by improving graduation rates for a fourth year,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Tuesday in a statement. “The hard work of teachers, administrators, students and their families has made these gains possible and as a result many more students will have a better chance of going to college, getting a good job, owning their own home, and supporting a family. We can take pride as a nation in knowing that we’re seeing promising gains, including for students of color.”