Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Which States Do Best at Graduating Latino Boys from High School?

Source: Flickr/Alex Thompson (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

When it comes to giving high-school diplomas to Latino males, Alaska does it best. Nevada has some work to do.

According to a report released today by the Schott Foundation for Public Education – which focuses on the graduation rates of black and Latino males — graduation rates among Latino males have risen from 59 to 65 percent since 2009-10. The gap between whites and Latinos has also decreased 5 percentage points since that time.

But in some states — particularly in the western United States — the gap remains acute. Utah, Connecticut and Nevada have the lowest Latino male graduation rates at 55, 52 and 44 percent respectively. Nevada — declared a “state of emergency” in the report — also has the lowest graduation rate among black males at 40 percent. 

In New York, there’s a 28 percent gap between the graduation rates of Hispanic and non-Hispanic males. The gap is 27 percent in Connecticut and 24 percent in Utah.

“The data in the Schott report show a mixed story,” Excelencia in Education’s Deborah Santiago states in an NBC News article published today. “Identifying the 10 states with the lowest Latino male graduation rates — including New York and Colorado — highlights the need for more concrete and targeted efforts in those states to accelerate Latino males’ high school success.”

It’s important to note Alaska — with a Latino male graduation rate of 82 percent – Maine, West Virginia and other states in the top 10 have some of the lowest Latino enrollment rates in the country. The report acknowledges this, adding that black and Latino students in these states are not likely to be segregated into low-resourced schools. “How these states achieve equitable resources to close opportunity — and thus, achievement — gaps deserves special attention,” it states.

There have been some questions regarding the Schott report’s accuracy, as it acknowledges the use of “estimates” and “moving averages.” A Diverse article mentions a specific disparity over the graduation rates of black males in Philadelphia. Though the Schott report gives a 24 percent graduation rate for black males in the city, research by the Philadelphia Public School Notebook shows the graduation rate has been in the mid-50s.

Near its conclusion, the Schott report calls for schools and districts to take new student-centered learning approaches to boost these graduation rates and reevaluate harsh discipline policies, which disproportionately affect Latino and black males and their chances of graduation.  

Source: "Black Lives Matter: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males," The Schott Foundation for Public Education 2015