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Mississippi, New Mexico and Wyoming had dropout rates rise more than 1 percentage point, while Delaware, Illinois and Louisiana saw noticeable decreases. Delaware dropped from about 5 percent to 4 percent. Illinois dropped from roughly 12 percent to 3 percent. And Louisiana dropped from 7 percent to 5 percent.

“The trends are hopeful but our high school dropout rate is still unsustainably high and it’s untenable in many of our African-American and Latino communities. We have a long way to go here,” Mr. Duncan said.