New figures from the State Department of Education show 78.5 percent of high school students graduated with their class last year. That's up 1.4 percent from the year before.
Students in minority groups made even bigger gains. The rate for African American students was up nearly three percent and for Hispanic students, it was up nearly two percent.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson credits a targeted approach to closing the achievement gap:
Torlakson: "School administrators, school boards, teachers have taken it seriously to look at the data to see what is needed: good reading instruction, good support, paying particular attention to English language learners and what they need to master the English language."
Despite the gains, graduation rates for African-American and Hispanic students are still below the overall rate.
As expected, fewer students also dropped out last year. 13 percent left school, down about one-and-a-half percent from the year before.