Iowa tops the nation — again

Ranks No. 1 in US in percentage of high school students who graduate

Iowans have put a high priority on education since the pioneers first settled the Hawkeye State. It is a tribute to that emphasis — and a source of pride — that ours is the state with the nation’s highest graduation rate for high school students. According data just released by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, the Hawkeye State ranked No. 1 in 2017 (the most recent year for which data are available) with an impressive graduation rate of 91 percent.

Gov. Kim Reynolds welcomed that news and emphasized that she is determined to keep education a key focus of her team.

“Education is a top priority for my administration and I am proud of our record investments in pre-K-12 education last year and my efforts to build on that with $93 million in additional dollars,” the governor said. “While we can be proud of where we are, there’s a lot more work to do to ensure our students not only graduate high school but they do so ready to meet the demands of the 21st century.”

The quality of the schooling all across Iowa is for the most part exceptional. Iowa students consistently rank high in comparison with those in other states on assorted measures of academic performance. That’s true for both the state’s excellent public schools and its many fine private institutions.

The Messenger is delighted that Iowa is leading the nation in education. We congratulate the teachers and other educational professionals who have dedicated themselves to helping students learn. We also applaud the many parents who help motivate their children to take advantage or the opportunities our fine schools offer. We urge members of the Legislature to join with Reynolds in committing themselves to making certain that the resources needed are made available to keep our schools the envy of the nation.