6. Despite all these challenges, high school graduation rates are on the rise.
In the 2009–10 school year, some 3.1 million public high school students, or 78.2 percent, graduated on time with a regular diploma. That’s up from 75.5 percent in 2008-09 and 72.6 percent in 2001-02.
There are still troubling gaps in high school graduations rates across ethnicities, though. Among all public high school students, Asian/Pacific Islanders had the highest graduation rate in 2009-10 (93.5 percent), followed by Whites (83.0 percent), Hispanics (71.4 percent), American Indian/ Alaska Natives (69.1 percent), and Blacks (66.1 percent).
7. The percentage of students taking high school math and science courses also has risen.
The percentages of high school graduates who had taken math courses in algebra I, geometry, algebra II/trigonometry, analysis/precalculus, statistics/ probability, and calculus all increased from 1990 to 2009.
Similarly, the percentages of high school graduates who had taken science courses in chemistry and physics also increased between 1990 and 2009.
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