More boys are dropping out of school than girls, and the disparity is greater in Rhode Island and Connecticut than anywhere else in the country, according to a new report from the Federal Department of Education.
The study finds that on average nearly 4 percent of boys drop out of high school, compared with nearly 3 percent of girls. In Rhode Island and Connecticut the male-female gap was as high as 1.7 percentage points, while in Idaho, the state with the lowest gap, it was just 0.2 percentage points.
According to the study, the national high school graduation rate has reached its highest level since the mid 1970’s. Even with the improvement, a fifth of students fail to finish high school within four years.
Rhode Island’s graduation rate came in at 76 percent, just shy of the national average 78 percent. Vermont and Wisconsin had the highest graduation rates, topping 91 percent.
Hispanic students in Rhode Island are the least likely to finish high school on time with just 69 percent graduating in four years. 74 percent of black students finished on time compared with 78 percent of white students.
The graduation rate fell slightly in Rhode Island from 78 percent in 2006 to 76 percent in 2010, according to the report. 2,166 students who entered Rhode Island high schools dropped out during the 2009-2010 school year.