Madison school

The graduation gap between white and black students in Wisconsin high schools is the most pronounced in the country, according to new federal data.

The graduation rate for white Wisconsin students in the 2013-14 school year rose to 92.9 percent, the third-highest in the country.

But the rate for black students stayed largely the same at 66 percent, 40th in the country.

The gap between the two rates is 26.9 percentage points, up from a gap of 26.3 percentage points the prior year.

The figures, described as preliminary, were released this week by the U.S. Department of Education.

Final numbers are expected in the coming months.

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The divide in Wisconsin comes as the majority of states shrank the achievement gap for black and Hispanic students, as well as for students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students.

Thirty-six states saw increases in overall graduation rates, while six states saw decreases and eight saw no change.

Wisconsin’s overall graduation rate rose from 88 percent to 88.6 percent, putting it in a tie for third-highest.

The graduation rate for Latino students in Wisconsin rose from 74.3 percent to 78.1 percent. The rate for American Indian students rose from 76 percent to 81 percent.

According to the federal government, the nation has posted record graduation rates for the last two years, with the highest rate ever of 81 percent announced in March.

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