- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

MALDEN, Mass. (AP) - Massachusetts education officials say the state’s high school graduation rate is up to 86.1 percent, with some of the strongest gains among minority and low-income students.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on Tuesday announced that the four-year graduation rate for students who entered as ninth-graders in 2010-11, or who transferred in, improved for the eighth consecutive year.

In addition, the state’s annual dropout rate declined to 2 percent in the 2013-14 year, the sixth consecutive year below 3 percent and the lowest rate in more than three decades.

The biggest gains were made by black males, whose graduation rate improved by 3.1 percentage points over the previous year; Hispanic students showed a 2.4 percentage point improvement; and students from low-income families, with an improvement of 2.5 percentage points.

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