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Latino Male Graduation Rates Improve, But Stark Gaps In Some States

National overall improvement in Latino male graduation rates is masking stark gaps in some states between Latino and white male graduation rates, a report released Wednesday shows.

The graduation rate for Latino males from four-year public high schools has risen to 65 percent, up from 59 percent in 2009-10. That compares to black and white male graduation rates of 59 percent and 80 percent respectively, according to the report from the Schott Foundation for Public Education, which has tracked graduation rates of black males for a decade.

But in New York, there is a 28 percent gap between Hispanic and non-Hispanic male graduate rates. In Connecticut the gap is 27 percent and in Utah 24 percent.

The overall graduation gap between Latinos and white males decreased from 20 percent in 2009-10 to 15 percent in 2012-13.

"The data in the Schott report show a mixed story," said Deborah Santiago, co-founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education, who reviewed the report. While high school graduation rates for Latino males have improved, there is still a large gap, said Santiago. "Identifying the 10 states with the lowest Latino male graduation rates - including New York and Colorado - highlights the need for more concrete and targeted efforts in those states to accelerate Latino males' high school success.”

Latino young men graduate at the highest rates in Alaska (82 percent), Maine (81 percent), West Virginia (79 percent), New Jersey (77 percent), Missouri (76 percent) , Kentucky and Tennessee (74 percent), Idaho, Iowa and Wisconsin (73 percent). These states also have the lowest Latino enrollment.

States with the lowest Latino male graduation rates are Colorado, Michigan and New Mexico (59 percent), Washington (58 percent), Georgia and New York (57 percent), District of Columbia (56 percent), Utah (55 percent), Connecticut (52 percent) and Nevada (44 percent).

-- Kelly Carrión

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