Missouri Graduation Rates Climb

Last Updated by Dale Fisher on

American Graduate

Media Release Contact
Amy Shaw 314-512-9041 or ashaw@ketc.org

Nine Network in St. Louis Leads the American Graduate Effort to Support Further Increases for All Students

St. Louis, MO, December 15, 2015 – Missouri's high school graduation rate increased to 87.3 percent, nearly 5 percent higher than the national rate, according to statistics released Tuesday by the U. S. Department of Education, an encouraging rise supported by the work of American Graduate, a public media initiative led by the Nine Network of Public Media.

Missouri's graduation rate rose nearly 2 percent from 85.7 percent in 2013 to 87.3 in 2014, the most recent statistics available. Among specific groups, the graduation rate for Native American, black and economically disadvantaged students, as well as students with disabilities, also rose.

Missouri is in the top 10 states nationwide for high school graduation rates. The U.S. Department of Education statistics for 2014 show a record high of 82 percent for the national high school graduation rate.

These findings highlight the success of community-based solutions, such as the American Graduate initiative. Through American Graduate, public media works with community organizations to keep kids on track and continue the positive growth in graduation numbers and successful youth outcomes.

American Graduate partner Judge Jimmie Edwards of Innovative Concept Academy said American Graduate adds a voice for children and adults in an education system that has too often turned its back on children.

"American Graduate has asked us and has demanded that we stop, that we look, and that we listen, and that we try to keep children enrolled in school because without a high school education, our children have no opportunity of succeeding," he said. "That is what American Graduate has done, not only in this community, but all over America."

"Today's numbers show we continue to close the gap and make substantial gains, but it's important to get these numbers above 90 percent for all students," Nine Network of Public Media President and CEO Jack Galmiche said. "The latest U.S. Department of Education data show increases in the graduation rate nationally, with continued gaps between white and black and Hispanic students, and those students in poverty. This reflects a trend we have seen in our work with community partners on American Graduate since it began in 2009. These findings highlight the ongoing need to bring attention to community-based solutions to close this gap, which will in turn benefit the country overall."

For more about how American Graduate is working locally, please contact Amy Shaw, senior vice president of community engagement at the Nine Network of Public Media. Learn more about American Graduate at americangraduate.org or ninenet.org/americangraduate.

About American Graduate

American Graduate is public media's long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to the dropout crisis. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), more than 100 public radio and television stations have joined forces with more than 980 partners and at- risk schools across 40 states.

About the Nine Network of Public Media

The Nine Network of Public Media is a multifaceted public media organization creating a network of individuals and organizations empowered by public media to strengthen civic life. One of the nation's most watched public television stations, Nine offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life, including the Nine Center for Public Engagement, Nine LAB, nineNet.org and four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine Kids). The Nine Network's rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954 and continues through our mission of bringing St. Louis together as we connect our region to the world and the world to St. Louis.

For More Information Contact:

Matt Huelskamp
Director of Marketing and Communications
(314) 512-9117
mhuelskamp@ketc.org