U.S. graduation rate competes internationally


According to data collected in 2012, U.S. public high schools have reached an 80 percent graduation rate — the highest in US history. 

Virginia is a state with one of the highest graduation rates. It was 89 percent in 2013, compared to 88 percent in 2012. 

Most of this recent growth has happened since 2006, after decades of no improvement. 

This improvement is due in large part to the attention paid to the dropout problem and the combined efforts of district, state and the federal government.

Schools have started to take more action on the problem, including hiring specialists and working with students one-on-one to keep them in school.

We have our very own program at AHS to improve our school’s graduation rate. Named the On-Time Graduation Committee, this program works with seniors who are at-risk of dropping out or graduating late. 

Although our improvement as a nation is impressive, this statistic still means that one in five young people do not graduate from high school. This is simply unacceptable since the U.S. brags of being “leader of the  

We are still behind Denmark, Japan and the United Kingdom, whose graduation rates are 96, 93 and 91 percent respectively.

 The U.S. is rising up in the ranks, and for a large country that is relatively young, it is doing quite well. 

If we want to meet our projected goal of 90 percent by 2020, educational programs have to continue. 

This means funding cannot be cut to go towards defense spending. Defense spending is now the second largest portion of our budget, taking up 22 percent of it. It is second only to pensions, which is 23 percent. 

 Education, a largely bipartisan issue, is an important one that cannot be neglected.