Education Week’s 2013 “Diploma Counts” report shows the Kentucky graduation rate is among the most improved in the nation.

The rate moved from 63.7 percent for the class of 2000 to 77.2 percent for the class of 2010 (the latest data available), an increase of 13.5 points and the third most improved among all states. During the same time the national graduation rate improved 7.9 percentage points to 74.7 percent. The upward trend in the graduation rate continues to be driven by strong improvements among Latino students as well as solid gains for Black and Asian students.

However, the report also indicates that in Kentucky, more than 11,000 students in the class of 2013 will fail to earn a diploma. That translates into 64 students dropping out of high school each day – almost 74 percent are white, 61 percent male and 72 percent are without a job.

These are important facts to consider as districts and boards consider a policy to raise the compulsory school age to 18 under Senate Bill 97. Commissioner Holliday offers more analysis in his blog this week found below or at