Story Map – Graduation Rates OK

I made a story map based on graduation rates and trends I found within these rates. I based my research on 4 counties in Oklahoma, 2 associated with lower graduation rates (low 80%’s) and 2 counties with higher graduation rates (90%+). As you can see in the graph above the overall rates dropped in 2014 from 2013. This graph also shows groups with generally lower averages such as black, economically disadvantaged, and english language learner. These three groups tend to be associated with lower income. Through the maps in my story map I compare areas with lower rates to areas with lower incomes and see a clear trend. Also groups with higher averages such as white and asian groups, are typically associated with higher income groups. The maps in my story map also show higher incomes around counties with high graduation rates.
I was surprised to find that the school I graduated from had such a high graduation rate when drop outs seemed so normal throughout high school. Also my high school was primarily hispanic and economically disadvantaged, meaning it should have some of the lowest graduation rates based on the national statistics. However, in 2014 Olustee Public High School had a 95 % graduation rate, putting my high school above the national average. Sadly, the county my school is in is still below the national graduation average.
I chose this topic because students choosing to graduate high school is a huge step towards their future. There are still students today becoming first generation high school graduates. I saw more and more of my friends drop out of school each year for reasons like pregnancy, family obligations, drugs, and so many more. Staying in school isn’t always easy, especially in towns like Altus or Olustee. That is why graduation rates are important. They stand for the kids that made a choice to push through the obstacles and graduate and to better themselves.

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