N.J. high school graduation rate continues climb for third year

 Chris Cerf, New Jersey's education commissioner (Mel Evans, AP Photo, file)

Chris Cerf, New Jersey's education commissioner (Mel Evans, AP Photo, file)

New Jersey’s high school graduation rate is continuing to rise.

The graduation rate in the Garden State is higher for a third year, 88 percent this year, a gain of about 1 percent.

There are some demographic differences, said Chris Cerf, state education commissioner.

“Our white and Asian students are graduating in the mid-90s, and our African-American, Hispanic and disadvantaged students are in the mid-70s,” he said. “So that’s a gap we absolutely must close.”

Even so, Cerf said, more of those minority students did successfully complete high school this year as teachers and school officials focused on helping them improve.

“We are seeing a trend that, I think, is a credit to our educators, to our districts, our superintendents, and our schools in general,” he said. “Most kids who start in New Jersey in the ninth grade end up graduating, approaching 90 percent, and that’s a very compelling number.”

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