West Virginia Graduation Rate 5th Highest in Nation

Posted: September 17, 2003
CHARLESTON, W.Va.- Schools across West Virginia deserve a hardy pat on the back! West Virginia’s overall graduation rate was the fifth highest in the nation at 84% and its graduation rate for black students was 70%, the second highest in the nation. The data was released today by the Manhattan Institute as part of the Public High School Graduation and College Readiness Rates in the United States Study.  

“I applaud the tireless efforts of teachers and students across the state,” said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart. “It is because of their work and dedication that this ranking was achieved. I am especially proud of the graduation rate for black students. However, we still have a long way to go before we close all of the gaps.”  

This study shows that public high schools must work harder to serve black and Hispanic students. The graduation rate for black students in West Virginia was 19% higher than black students nationwide. Also noteworthy, the state college-readiness rate for students was 49% compared to the nationwide rate of 32%.  

The study also finds that nationwide 70% of all students in the public high school class of 2001 graduated, and 32% left high school qualified to attend a four-year college. Furthermore, it finds that 51% of all black students and 52% of Hispanic students graduate, and 20% of black and 16% of Hispanic students leave high school ready for college.  

Highlights of the study include:  

• 70% of all students in public high schools graduate, and 32% of all students leave high school qualified to attend four-year colleges. • 51% of all black students and 52% of all Hispanic students graduate, and 20% of all black students and 16% of all Hispanic students leave high school college-ready. • The graduation rate for white students was 72%; for Asian students, 79%; and for American Indian students, 54%. The college readiness rate for white students was 37%; for Asian students, 38%; for American Indian students, 14%. • Graduation rates in the Northeast (73%) and Midwest (77%) were higher than the overall national figure, while graduation rates in the South (65%) and West (69%) were lower than the national figure. The Northeast and the Midwest had the same college readiness rate as the nation overall (32%) while the South had a higher rate (38%) and the West had a lower rate (25%).  

This study was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Manhattan Institute is a think tank whose mission is to develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.  

For a copy of Public High School Graduation and College Readiness Rates in the United States, please go to: www.manhattan-institute.org

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