NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer issued this statement regarding the announcement today that New Jersey’s excellent high school graduation rate continues to climb.

“New Jersey’s rising graduation rate is great news, and it shows that our public schools are succeeding. New Jersey has long been at or near the top of the nation when it comes to graduation, but that fact that the rate keeps increasing shows that we never rest on our laurels.

“We are especially glad to see that rates are rising fastest for groups that have historically had lower graduation rates. Our schools are proving that we can close the achievement gap and these results reinforce NJEA’s longstanding commitment to do that. We refuse to accept the picture that some people paint of our urban schools in particular. While critics call them failing schools and want to abandon them, we call them our top priority and strive to help them succeed. Our approach is working and it proves that urban schools and the student who attend them need support, not attacks.

“Outcomes like this don’t happen by accident. Our impressive graduation rate is the result of talented educators working hard to ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed.  Continued progress will require continued investment in public education. We will continue to fight for great public schools for every student in New Jersey, and we will always strive to achieve even more next year.”

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