Most states, including Washington, improve high school graduation rates. Washington, though, lags nation, ranking #38.

We may be able to point to some improvement in our next Opportunity Score update, but hold the applause for a bit. Washington appears to have climbed from 40th to 38th among the states in the most recent data on high school graduation rates from the U.S. Department of Education. Our goal is to be in the top ten. Obviously, we have a ways to go yet.

Here’s a useful table comparing Washington with the U.S. on several demographic criteria.

The Washington Post reports

Though nationwide data is not yet available, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the preliminary state numbers suggest that the country is on track for a rise in graduation rates for the third year in a row.

Eighty-one percent of the Class of 2013 graduated on time, the highest figure since states began calculating graduation rates in a uniform way in 2010.

Just 78.2 percent of Washington’s Class of 2014 achieved on-time graduation. That’s an improvement, however, from 76.4 percent for the 2013 class. Progress.