DC Takes Top Honors -- for Worst Graduation Rate in U.S.

By Pete Winn | November 28, 2012 | 6:01pm EST

High school graduation. (AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Washington, D.C., had the worst high school graduation rate in the country in 2011, according to state-by-state statistics released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education.

Only 59 percent of high school students who started as freshmen in the 2006-2007 school year graduated four years later from District of Columbia schools, according to the data, which details state four-year high school graduation rates in the 2010-11 school year.

That compares with a 76 percent rate during 2009-2010.

There were 71,284 students in 191 schools in the District of Columbia, which is not a state but comprises the nation’s capital city. The district received $98.3 million dollars in federal funding during 2011.

Second from the bottom is Nevada, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), with a 62 percent graduation rate.

At the top of the list, meanwhile, Iowa stood alone, with an 88 percent graduation rate.

Wisconsin, the home state of GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, tied for second-best with Vermont, posting a graduation rate of 87 percent.

Delaware, the home state of Vice President Joe Biden, had a 78 percent graduation rate, while California – home of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) – stood at 76 percent.

Other selected state rates:

Top Tier

Iowa -- 88 percent

Vermont -- 87 percent

Wisconsin -- 87 percent

North Dakota -- 86 percent

New Hampshire -- 86 percent

Nebraska -- 86 percent

Indiana -- 86 percent

Tennessee -- 86 percent

Texas -- 86 percent


Middle Tier:

Illinois -- 84 percent

Massachusetts -- 83 percent

Virginia -- 82 percent

Ohio -- 80 percent

Arizona -- 78 percent

Washington -- 76 percent

West Virginia -- 76 percent

Mississippi -- 75 percent

Michigan -- 74 percent


Bottom Tier:

Alabama – 72 percent

Louisiana -- 71 percent

Oregon -- 68 percent

Georgia – 67 percent

New Mexico -- 63 percent

Nevada - 62 percent

DC -- 59 percent

The 2010-11 graduation rates are preliminary, state-reported data, according to the federal government and the Education Department says it will release final rates in the coming months. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said this is the first year for which all states used a common measure.

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