High school graduation rates up

Published 01/24 2013 10:01PM

Updated 01/25 2013 11:22AM

SPRINGFIELD -- It looks like more students are graduating from high school. In fact, a new report states it's the highest number the U.S. has seen in years. WCIA-3's Brittany Harris investigates the cause of the jump.

Graduation is a top priority at Riverton High School. Its staff works extra hard to make sure of it. If they see a student slipping behind in class, they get them help right away.

"We have classroom intervention programs which offer support in math and reading for our students who just really aren't at grade level or where we expect them to be in those areas. So, during the day, they'd take an additional class for support in reading and math."

Sturdy says they want to see everyone graduate, and it looks like more students are. Not just at this school or in Illinois, but nationally.

The Department of Education released a new report showing nearly 80% of students are graduating high school. It's the highest number since the 1970's.

"The world we grew up in is not the same as it was 30, 40 years ago. When you could go out and find a decent job without a post secondary education."

Matt Vanover works for the State Board of Education. He says there are a few reasons why it might be up. One of the biggest is the economy. It's gotten worse, so jobs have become more competitive.

Another, the drop-out age is now 17 in Illinois. Vanover thinks it could sway some to just stay in school.

According to the report, it looks like many are. While the report was fairly positive, it did find about one-fifth of students need an extra year to graduate and that boys were more likely to drop out than girls.

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