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

Pete Winn, CNS News, November 28, 2012

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.


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.


Other selected state rates:

Top Tier

Iowa—88 percent

Vermont—87 percent

Wisconsin—87 percent

North Dakota—86 percent

New Hampshire—86 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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  • a different age

    The most spent per student and the least results. I cant imagine what the problem is. Lets just throw more money at it. Yea, that will fix it!

  • I am okay with CNS as a news source generally, but there’s something about this article I don’t like.

    What does any of this have to do with Harry Reid and Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi? (Pelosi gets a mention in the original article). With Iowa having the top spot, I’m surprised they didn’t mention Gov. Terry Branstad or some other Republican politician from the state, as if it’s to his or their credit. As if Republicans always good Democrats always bad. Vermont ranks highly — All credit due to Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy?

    All race, ladies and gentlemen.

    • Frank

      Sanders and Leahy are not governors. They have, thank God, little direct control over the state schools.

      • Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi are members of Congress, from districts that are only small parts of their states. I suppose CNS News wants us to think that the ability of an 18-year old to graduate from high school in Fond Du Lac is to Paul Ryan’s credit, and the inability of a 20-year old recent border jumper to graduate from a high school in San Diego is the fault of San Francisco’s member of Congress.

    • The__Bobster

      I posted at the site earlier in the day, mentioning the racial angle. I don’t know if my posts stayed up.

  • i am

    I wonder what they really would have scored if the teachers hadn’t have cheated or fudged the test results.

    I guess all the free NIKE shoe giveaways didn’t help.Maybe if they reduced their freshman class to 59% they would have a 100% graduation rate in 4 years.

    • Eagle_Eyed

      Well, some high school degrees are more equal than others.

  • Frank

    I am surprised its rate was as high as 59%!

    • 1stworlder

      Must be more teacher cheating

    • libertarian1234

      “I am surprised its rate was as high as 59%!”

      Actually, I’m not, because if blacks just show up for four years they’ll graduate.

      What would surprise me is if more than about 10% of them could actually read their diplomas.

  • So CAL Snowman

    How in the world is CA not number 1? This is an outrage! Our mexicans are just as dumb if not dumber than the blacks in D.C. On the other hand, is the under 18 population of Iowa exactly 12% Non White?

    • i am

      too many whites?

  • Ulick

    This is easy to decipher. DC is a city and is being compared with states. States have those pesky suburbs that are filled with those pesky whites that graduate at a far higher rate than minorities. When you take DC’s minority percentage, and black percentatge in particular, it exceeds the minority and black percentage of any state.

  • ed91

    I would believe the far greater bad news is that of the 59% that received a diploma,

    many can’t spell cat if you spot them the c and the t

    • This about black teenagers in Washington, D.C. Ask them to spell “cat” spotting them “c” and “t,” and you’ll get a word of the English language, but it won’t be “cat.” That’s all I’ll say.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        The word you’re thinking of is not in their vernacular — too difficult to spell, too many letters, concept too difficult to grasp, too sophisticated.

        Think: starts with “p”….that’s all I”LL say.


  • StillModerated

    I know what the problem is: those young African geniuses are bored out of their minds by YT’s dumbed-down curriculum, so they go out and do exciting things — such as volunteer work.

    • i am

      They volunteer to spend the money in your wallet and max out your credit cards.

  • APaige

    “this is the first year for which all states used a common measure’?, What other measure, besides graduating four years after freshmen year, did states use before?

  • bubo

    I’m surprised to see Oregon in the low category. Anyone know the reason? Demographic change perhaps?

    • shmo123

      A friend of mine who once lived and worked in Oregon, once described it as “a cross between Appalachia and the Wild West.” Not bad folks, but not too bright either.

    • StillModerated

      Too many libtards in Portland must be dragging down the average of the rural parts of the state.

  • Howard W. Campbell

    Top Tier
    Iowa—88 percent
    Vermont—87 percent
    Wisconsin—87 percent
    North Dakota—86 percent
    New Hampshire—86 percent

    Gee, Wally, what might we infer from these states? Lack of diversity!

  • Luca

    Amazing, cant believe California actually didn’t make the top 5. Aha!.. proof that the teachers are fudging the numbers or just giving 21 yr old non-english speakers a HS diploma just to get rid of them.

  • Joseph

    From: http://www.altiusdirectory.com/Travel/iowa-demographics.php

    “The population of the state of Iowa comprises of approximately around 97,000 foreign-born
    populations which comes up to 3.3% of the total population. ****The people
    of Iowa are more often than not descendents from Western Europe****. -(asterisks mine, joe)

    Statistically speaking, the five principal ancestry groupings in Iowa can be classified into Germans – who amount to about 35.7%, Irish – up to 13.5%, English around 9.5%, American summing up to 6.6%, and Norwegian being a meager 5.7% of the total population.”

    “The racial composition of the state of Iowa can be reported as about 91.0% people being White or non-Hispanic, 3.8% of population being Hispanic,2.5% people of the population are Black or African American, 1.6% are Asian, and 0.4% of the total population consists of American Indians.”

    Well, there you have it.

  • ageofknowledge

    The dropouts are on the corners slinging dope and hoping a stray white wanders in so they can practice the ‘punch out game.’ Once they graduate to the federal prison to “roll” with the DC Blacks they will feel inwardly that they have finally accomplished something with their life.

    Why would anyone with a shred of commonsense want to be around that. Seriously.

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