LARGE URBAN-SUBURBAN GAP SEEN IN GRADUATION RATES
April 23, 2009
It is no surprise that more students drop out of high school in big cities than elsewhere. Now, however, a nationwide study commissioned by the America's Promise Alliance entitled, "Closing the Graduation Gap," shows the magnitude of the gap: the average high school graduation rate in the nation's 50 largest cities was 53 percent, compared with 71 percent in the suburbs.
But that urban-suburban gap, which in part is due to hundreds of failing city schools that some researchers call dropout factories, was far wider in some areas:
- In Cleveland, for instance, where the gap was largest, only 38 percent of high school freshmen graduated within four years, compared with 80 percent in the Cleveland suburbs.
- In Baltimore, which has the nation's second-largest gap, 41 percent of students graduate from city schools, compared with 81 percent in the suburbs.
- New York also had a large gap, with 54 percent of freshmen graduating within four years from schools in the city, compared with 83 percent from suburban high schools.
- The Indianapolis public schools had the lowest graduation rate of any large American city in 2005, with only 30 percent of freshmen graduating on time.
- Several large Western cities, in contrast, had graduation rates that exceeded the national average; the Mesa Unified District in Arizona had the highest graduation rate of any large city, with 77 out of every 100 freshmen there graduating four years later.
Source: Sam Dillion, "Large Urban-Suburban Gap Seen in Graduation Rates," New York Times, April 22, 2009.
Browse more articles on Education Issues