A smaller percentage of American high-schoolers are making it through all four years, reports The Christian Science Monitor. Lower graduation rates add up to an economic loss of billions in wages and tax revenue and a gloomy future in competing with those overachieving brainiacs in China and India.

Extra credit: Read Mike Rose’s masterful assessment of the education reform hype machine here.

Christian Science Monitor:

The percent of students earning a standard diploma in four years shifted from 69.2 percent in 2006 to 68.8 percent in 2007, according to an analysis of the most recent data in “Diplomas Count 2010.” It was the second consecutive year of decline, says the report, which was released Thursday by Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center, a nonprofit in Bethesda, Md.

That translates to 11,000 fewer graduates in 2007 than in 2006. At its peak in 1969, the national graduation rate was 77 percent.

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