CONTACT:  Sarah Potter
Communications Coordinator


Vol. 46, No. 43
June 7, 2012


Missouri's Graduation Rate on the Rise

Missouri's graduation rate increased for the third year in a row, according to Education Week's seventh annual "Diplomas Count 2012" report released today. Well above the national average, Missouri's public high schools graduated 79.3 percent of its students in 2009, an increase of 2.4 percent over the previous year.

"We are always pleased to see our students, teachers and local school districts making progress," said Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. "Our statewide goal is to improve the graduation rate by at least 2 percent annually, so the numbers indicate we are taking steps in the right direction. That being said, our work continues to ensure all students in Missouri graduate from high school ready for success."

Additionally, the national average increased for the second year in a row from 71.7 percent in 2008 to 73.4 percent in 2009. According to the report, over the past decade the nationwide graduation rate has risen 7.3 percent, reaching its highest point since the mid-1980s.

All five primary demographic areas (American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Black and White) saw gains in graduation rates over the past year in Missouri and all were above the national averages.

Individuals of Hispanic descent made decent strides with an 11 percent increase from 2008 (57.7 percent) to 2009 (68.7 percent). The graduation rate for Hispanic males increased 16.5 percent and for Hispanic females increased 10 percent. The black subgroup had a more modest increase of 3.1% over the past year.

"Diplomas Count 2012" provides updated graduation rate findings for the class of 2009, the most recent year for which data are available. More information can be found on Education Week's website,