Louisiana’s high school graduation rate was 74.6 percent in 2013-14, according to new preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Education.
That marks an increase from the state’s rate of 73.5 percent in 2012-13.
The National Center for Education Statistics is expected to release final graduation data in the coming months. A national graduation rate of 81 percent was announced this past March.
The Louisiana Department of Education also announced a statewide 74.6 percent graduation rate this past April, marking a 1.1 percent increase from 2013, and an increase of nearly 10 percentage points in less than a decade.
According to state officials, in the class of 2014, nearly 1,600 more Louisiana students graduated than did in the class of 2013, and nearly 3,440 more students than in 2011.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 36 states saw increases in overall graduation rates, while six states saw decreases and eight saw no change. Most states also shrank the achievement gap for black and Hispanic students, as well as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students.
States that saw the biggest gains included Delaware, Alabama, Oregon, West Virginia and Illinois.
“The hard work of America’s educators, families, communities and students is paying off, particularly after several years of intense work by educators transitioning to new, higher standards,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a news release. “This is a vital step toward readiness for success in college and careers for every student in this country. While these gains are promising, we know that we have a long way to go in improving educational opportunities for every student — no matter their ZIP code — for the sake of our young people and our nation’s economic strength.”