Greg Abbott is correct that the high school graduation rate in Texas is 90%

Governor Greg Abbott’s re-election campaign praise texas educationwith a May 15 video touting Blue Ribbon Public Schools, US News ranking four Texas high schools among the top 50 STEM high schools and Texas public high school graduation rate.

“Governor @GregAbbott_TX has led education towards a brighter future,” Abbott’s campaign Twitter account @TexansforAbbott tweeted“That’s why the public high school graduation rate in Texas is 90% overall.”

Does Texas have a 90% high school graduation rate? The state data backs up the Abbott campaign statistics.

Texas high school graduation rate data

PolitiFact Texas contacted Abbott’s campaign but did not hear back. However, the video credited the Texas Education Agency for the graduation rate statistic.

Of students who started ninth grade in 2016-17, who were due to graduate in 2020, 90.3% graduated within four years, according to a 2019-2020 report by the agency. This percentage is called the four-year longitudinal graduation rate because it measures the share of a ninth-grade start class completes secondary education in four years.

The remaining 10% may have gone on to further education, obtained a high school equivalency certificate, or dropped out. Abbott’s statistics are verified.

Some demographic groups have better graduation rates than others. Economically disadvantaged students scored 6 percentage points lower (87.5%) than those who were not (93.5%). Compared to state averages, there were lower graduation rates and higher dropout rates for students in special education programs and students identified as learning English as a second language.

Graduation rate as campaign point

Abbott and his predecessor Rick Perry have long rallied around their work on education and touted the graduation rate in Texas.

In 2018, Abbott said Texas ranked among the top five states in the nation for high school graduation rate. PolitiFact Texas found that to be true. In 2015 and 2013, PolitiFact rated Perry’s statements as mostly true that Texas high school graduation rates were the third highest in the nation. In 2011, Texas was tied with five states for that No. 3 title.

Texas was ahead of the national average graduation rate at 86% in 2018-2019, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. It was among eight states with a graduation rate of 90% or higher.

In the mid-2000s, Texas took an aggressive approach to redressing high schools that weren’t graduating at least 60% of their senior class, said Jacob Kirksey, assistant professor of educational psychology, leadership and consulting at Texas Tech University. Many states, including Texas, saw gains during this time thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act. Secondary schools also later adopted models of career and college readiness. The state education system under Abbott continued this effort that began under Perry’s leadership.

“Compared to other states, I think Texas isn’t afraid to make changes and try things, which I think is a really important and powerful perspective to have in politics.” , said Kirksey. “Ultimately, Texas improves on all metrics when it comes to graduation rates and attrition rates.”

Our decision

Governor Greg Abbott’s campaign tweeted, “The public high school graduation rate in Texas is 90% overall,” accompanying a video touting K-12 and higher education victories.

This matches data from the Texas Education Agency, so we rate this as true.

Leave a Reply