Despite the constantly gloomy rhetoric about the state of America's schools, U.S. students are steadily improving by at least one metric -- for the first time, the nation is making enough progress in graduating from high school to reach the goal of 90 percent graduation by 2020, according to a new report released Monday.
"This is our fourth annual update," said John Bridgeland, an author of the report, titled "Building a Grad Nation." "Previously we've been able to focus on school districts making double-digit gains but we always have to pivot and say the pace of progress is too slow. Now, we have hopeful news."
The report will be released by America's Promise Alliance, an advocacy group founded by Colin and Alma Powell. "We're cautiously optimistic," Bridgeland said. "The pace of progress really rocketed forward right at a time when high school reform efforts were strongly under way."