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For decades, the reputation of Mississippi’s schools has been poor: Compared to educational systems in other states, Mississippi has usually ranked near the bottom. Although the state still has work to do, Mississippi’s educational system has made progress and is now close to or better than the national average in some aspectsA newly released federal report, “The Condition of Education,” looks at dozens of education statistics, some broken down by state, to paint a picture of education in America.

Here are some of the main takeaways:  

  • Mississippi is doing pretty well when it comes to graduation rates for black and white studentsThe state’s adjusted cohort graduation rates of black public high school students is 79 percent; the rate for white students is 86 percent. The 7-percentage-point difference is one of the lowest in the nation. The state’s overall average adjusted cohort graduation rate for all students is 82 percent; the national average is 84 percent. 
  • The state can also boast about the small gap in the graduation rates of its Hispanic and white studentsFor Hispanic students, the state’s graduation rate is 82 percent, only 4 percentage points less than the 86 percent rate for white students — also one of the lowest gaps in the nation. The graduation rate for Hispanic students nationwide is 79 percent.  
  • Mississippi is one of a handful of states making progress on science scores: The state was one of 17 to see improvement in fourth- and eighth-grade science scale scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress between 2009 and 2015.  
  • A little bad news: Mississippi is projected to lose students by 2027: Mississippi is one of 10 states, and the only one in the south, projected to see an enrollment decrease of 5 percentage points or more by 2027. Texas is projected to see enrollment increase by 15 percent, and South Carolina is expected to see an 11 percent enrollment increase. New Hampshire, Connecticut, Michigan and Vermont are all projected to lose a higher percentage of students than Mississippi. Between 2000 and 2015, Mississippi’s enrollment decreased by 2 percent. 

 The full report also provides national data on many other facets of education, including statistics on English language learners, early childhood education, public school teachers, and student loan debt. You can read the full report here.

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