Education Week’s annual report, Diploma’s Count, shows while Kentucky has made significant improvements in the number of students graduating over a ten-year period, the commonwealth still falls behind the national average.

The big news announced this week: between 1999 and 2009 the graduation rate rose to 73.4 percent, which is the highest it has been since the late 1970s, according to the report. 

Much of this is attributed to growth in Latino numbers. The large and growing demographic group saw a 5.5 percent graduation rate increase during the span reported.

In all, 44 states posted some kind of graduation rate increase. Kentucky saw an 8.2 percent increase, but still ranks 36th in the nation with a graduation rate of 70.5. 

However, when measuring the progress made over the ten-year span, the state has made above average progress. Between 1999 and 2009, the nation saw a 7.3 percent increase in graduation rates. Kentucky's rate is at 8.2 percent. This puts them 14th in progress made.