HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The US Department of Education released a report on high school graduation rates across the country for 2012 on Monday.
For the first time ever, the rate hit 80%. Hawaii beat the national average at 82%.
"For a student to graduate from high school, it means people are doing the job from elementary to middle to high. Everyone has a part to play in the student's success" said State Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
"The trajectory is right and not only that they are graduating from high school, but our college enrollment rates are going up which is another sign that kids are looking to their future and realizing that post-secondary education is important" she continued.
Hawaii was shown to be one of the best states in the country at graduating students from low income families. 80% graduate. Matayoshi points to island culture as much as curriculum for those high numbers.
"It's all about the people and the relationship and the ohana. And that kind of support is particularly important for low income students and students with disadvantaged backgrounds".
The biggest deficiency was in English language learners. Only 56% graduated. Matayoshi said it is a big hurdle for the DOE.
"We have so many different languages, from the Pacific Islands, the Asian countries, so it's a challenge for teachers".
The Superintendent, pleased with the overall graduation rate. However, she says more must be done in the future.
"Ee have a goal to move that number up. Not just graduating from high school but on to college, making sure kids are ready to succeed".