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New Mexico HS graduation rates next to last in the country UPDATE: Susana reacts: “We have to reform education”

By   /   November 27, 2012  /   No Comments

A new analysis of state-by-state high school graduation percentages by the US Department of Education shows New Mexico ranked 46th of the 47 states taking part in the study.

Just 63 percent of New Mexico students in the 2010-2011 school year finished secondary school and the percentages for Hispanic students (59 percent) and Native Americans (56 percent) fell below 60 percent.

The data from the Department of Education are significant in the fact that the numbers reflect a common, more rigorous standard to compare states to each other. Prior to this study, states used measurements that often undercounted dropouts and produced inflated results, making cross-state comparisons inaccurate and volatile.

“By using this new measure, states will be more honest in holding schools accountable and ensuring that students succeed,” US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement Monday (Nov. 26) when the statistics were released.

Three states — Idaho, Kentucky and Oklahoma — did not participate in the study so only 47 states are represented. The only state that had a lower graduation percentage than New Mexico’s 63 percent figure was Nevada, which came in at 62 percent.

(The District of Columbia also took part in the study and had a 59 percent high school graduation rate.)

Here’s a breakdown in the New Mexico numbers:

NM high school graduation rates, 2010-2011 academic year
Overall 63%
Native American 56%
Asian/Pacific Islander 78%
African-American 60%
Hispanic 59%
White 73%
Children with Disabilities 47%
Limited English 56%
Economically Disadvantaged 56%

The states with the highest graduation percentage were Iowa (88 percent), Wisconsin and Vermont (87 percent) and Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas (86 percent).

You can look at the results of the Department of Education study by clicking here.

Update: We talked to Gov. Susana Martinez to get her reaction to the US Deparment of Education results:


Rob formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • L.E. Liesner

    There are many problems with the schools today, but it seem the greatest problem is government intervention. Follow that with the teachers union that is a page right out of the Communist Manifesto. By keeping people ignorant, it is much easier to control them. This philosophy has been in the works for over sixty years and nobody really cared untill the age of technology arrived an the ignorant are being left out in the cold. The truly dedicated teacher suffer the most, because they know what’s wrong with the system but are never ask for an opinion while all the noise comes from the administrative group that really cause the problem. The solution could well be, get the government out of the school and let the competent teachers teach.