A new report about inner city graduation rates (.pdf) paints a pretty sobering picture, to put it mildly:

Our analysis finds that graduating from high school in the America’s largest cities amounts, essentially, to a coin toss. Only about one-half (52 percent) of students in the principal school systems of the 50 largest cities complete high school with a diploma.

In Cleveland, Indianapolis and Detroit, the numbers are 35%, 31% and 25% respectively.


I worked for almost 22 years in a district that graduated over 90% of its students, sent over three-quarters to college, and by just about every measure was and is an amazing school by traditional standards. I’ve worked for the last two years going around the country speaking at over 200 schools and districts and conferences and I have come to realize very quickly just how much of an outlier my former career was. While I haven’t done a lot of work with inner city schools, I’ve done enough to see that without question, there remains an incredible degree of inequity between the haves and have nots in this country that has little to do with technology. This latest report is just one more indication: the system is broken.

We’re failing millions of kids.