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Graduation rates are rising (Thinkstock)

Graduation rates are rising (Thinkstock)

A new report shows that U.S. students are graduating from high school at a higher rate than ever. The data, which was released by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, shows that the graduation rate hit 81 percent during the 2012-2013 school year. The rate is calculated based on the percentage within a group starting high school who graduate with a diploma within 4 years. The overall graduation rate has continuously increased over the past three years. “America’s students have achieved another record-setting milestone,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a statement released by The White House. “We can take pride as a nation in knowing that we’re seeing promising gains, including for students of color. This is a vital step toward readiness for success in college and careers for every student in this country, and these improvements are thanks to the hard work of teachers, principals, students and families.” DOE says that information on minority graduation rates is coming soon.  Read more.

Segregated Tennessee School District Avoid Punishment By Reaching Settlement With DOJ

A Tennessee school district that has come under fire for systematic segregation recently reached a settlement with the Justice Department where they will have to focus on improving the learning conditions for African American students. According to the DOJ, Robertson County Schools  developed and expanded all of the nearly all-White schools in the district, but failed to do the same for predominately-Black schools. African American students were left in overcrowded schools with portable classrooms (read trailers).  The DOJ has decided not to take any legal action against Robertson County, but under the settlement the school district must open up a new desegregated elementary school, address the overcrowding in African American schools, and provide educators with “cultural sensitivity and competency training.” The district will also be responsible for giving the federal government an annual report on its enrollment demographics for the next five years.  Read more.

Civil Rights Activist Anne Moody Dies at 74

Anne Moody, a woman who was among students from Tougaloo College who staged a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s in downtown Jackson, Miss. in 1963, has passed away. During the sit-in 52 years ago, a White mob rushed the diner and attacked the peaceful demonstrators. Moody later wrote about her encounter in a pivotal book called Coming of Age in Mississippi, which captured the essence of what it was like to grow up in the segregated South. “A man rushed forward, threw Memphis from his seat, and slapped my face,” she wrote. “Then another man who worked in the store threw me against an adjoining counter.” After graduating from college in 1964, Moody relocated to New York where she penned her memoir. She then later returned to her hometown of Mississippi and lived there until she passed away. “We came from a very poor family, and when she joined the movement, she did it because it was something that needed to be done. She wasn’t out there just to be there,” said her sister Adline Moody. “I’m very proud of her for what she did. She made it better for me.” Moody had battled with dementia for the past few years. She passed away at her home in Gloster, Miss. She was 74. Read more.

Report: High School Graduation Rate Hits a New Milestone  was originally published on