New Report Highlights Kentucky's increasing graduation rate

Posted by Aja Williams on

With states’ sights set on reaching the 90 percent high school graduation rate goal, a new report dives into one state that has continual growth in its rate as well as narrowing the gap between low-income and non-low-income students.

“For All Kids, How Kentucky is Closing the High School Graduation Gap for Low-Income Students,” released Wednesday by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center, focuses on how the state come together around policies, legislation and leadership to create progress throughout the entire state.

“The challenges are significant and leaders from multiple sectors in Kentucky have worked hard together over the last 25 years to make steady and sustained progress in educating all students from all backgrounds,” Civic Enterprises CEO John Bridgeland and Everyone Graduates Center Director Robert Balfanz write in the foreword of the report. “In an America that is too often the story of two nations – where higher economic status leads to stronger educational outcomes – Kentucky is a story of educational achievement for all kids.”

The report highlights how Kentucky, which has poverty rate higher than the national average, has steadily increased its graduation rate. For example, between 2003 and 2012, the graduation rate rose 11 percentage points. When the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate began in 2013, the rise continued from 86.1 percent to 87.5 percent.

In addition, a majority of Kentucky school districts are graduating they’re low-income students – only 12.5 percent of districts have a low-income graduation rate below 80 percent.

A key point made in the report is how nonprofit organizations have formed long-lasting partnerships that have benefited the education of students in Kentucky.

Kentucky Education TV (KET), an American Graduate hub station, has been working in the community to further decrease the gap in graduation rates since 2014. 

The station has produced a number of resources and highlighted the people and organizations that have championed to improve the lives of youth.

“[KET tells] those stories in a way that they are connecting people in the rural part of the state to people in the urban part of the state,” said one of their community partners. “It matters.”

Their work in helping high school dropouts get back on course to receiving a high school diploma or equivalent has always been a cornerstone of their work among those who are working to get Kentucky closer to the 90 percent graduation rate.

To read the full report, click here. To learn more about KET's efforts, visit their local American Graduate website