Despite a steady increase in graduation rates over the past five years, educators in Arizona strive to do better.
In 2009, 76 percent of high school seniors graduated in four years, opposed to 70 percent in 2006, according to the Arizona Department of Education’s website.
There has been an increase in graduation rates, but “that’s nowhere near where we want to be …,” said Ryan Ducharme, executive director of Office of Communications and Innovation at the Arizona Department of Education.
“The more students that graduate, the more opportunities there are available to them to succeed,” Ducharme said.
Ducharme said it is important to earn an education, especially in such a technology driven economy.
“They need to thrive … to be tech savvy, and develop critical thinking skills,” Ducharme said.
“Ultimately we want every child to graduate …,” Ducharme said. “We strive for 100 percent …”
Based on national data from 2008-2009, only nine states, and the District of Columbia, ranked worse than Arizona in terms of graduation rates in high school students.
Arizona had a graduation rate of 73 percent, while Wisconsin had the highest rate, 91 percent, and Nevada had the lowest, with 56 percent, according to the Department of Education’s website.