Texas continues to outpace the national average in high school graduation rates according to annually released federal data, state education officials announced Friday.
Almost nine out of 10 — 88 percent — of students in the Class of 2013 earned their diplomas on time, compared with a national average of 81 percent. Iowa was the only other state that posted a higher rate.
"The work being carried out in school districts and charters across our state continues to bear fruit in the high percentage of high school students successfully earning a diploma," Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams said in a statement. "Whether it be college, career or military, Texas educators are working daily to better prepare students for life after high school, and it is our state that benefits."
Like last year, Texas is once again in second place behind Iowa, tied with Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
The state's high school graduation rates have climbed steadily over the past six years, amid questions about the method it uses to calculate graduation rates, which critics say allows the state and school districts to mask true graduation numbers.
The U.S. Department of Education has yet to release detailed data on individual demographic groups like English language learners and economically disadvantaged students.