This study calculates high school graduation rates and the percentage of all students who left high school eligible to apply for college from 1991 to 2002. The study finds that during this period the graduation rate went from 72% to 71%, while the college readiness rate increased from 25% to 34%. The authors argue that the finding of flat high school graduation rates and increasing college readiness rates is likely the result of the increased standards and accountability programs over the last decade, which have required students to take more challenging courses required for admission to college without pushing those students to drop out of high school.
Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates: 1991–2002
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research