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News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

March 11, 2009
CONTACT: Amy Lunday

Twelve States Rise above the Nationwide
Dropout Crisis

A dozen states significantly improved their high school graduation rates between 2002 and 2006, while the rest of the nation lagged behind, according to a report by researchers at the new Everyone Graduates Center at the Johns Hopkins University.

Tennessee led the way with an 11 percentage point increase in its graduation rate, according to the report, "Progress Toward Increasing National and State Graduation Rates," available at www.every1graduates.org. The other 11 states and their percentage point increases are:

  • Delaware, 6.8 percentage points
  • Kentucky, 6.8
  • S. Dakota, 5.3
  • Arkansas, 5.2
  • Alabama, 4.1
  • N. Carolina, 3.6
  • New York, 3.5
  • Hawaii, 3.4
  • Missouri, 3.4
  • Nebraska, 3.1
  • New Hampshire, 3.0
  • This progress report comes on the heels of a major education address by President Obama in which he cited the work of Johns Hopkins education researchers in identifying the 2,000 high schools that produce half of the nation's dropouts, and issued a challenge to all Americans to turn around these low-performing schools.

    "In identifying the low-performing high schools, the president said we have to have solutions. This report points out where progress has been made and where we can look for solutions," said Robert Balfanz, co-author of the report and co-director of the Everyone Graduates Center. Thomas C. West, senior research analyst at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and formerly of Johns Hopkins is the co-author.

    The report draws on several methods of measuring graduation rates to make its assessments. The rate increases represent thousands of high school graduates who might not have earned diplomas a few years ago.

    The Everyone Graduates Center is located at the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins. It offers research on the nation's dropout crisis and college readiness challenge, effective models and tools for meeting these needs and strategies for helping communities and school districts to adapt the models and remedies to their own situations.

    The full report is available at www.every1graduates.org. President Obama's speech is available at www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-of-the- President-to-the-Hispanic-Chamber-of-Commerce/.