By Michael Oleaga / m.oleaga@latinospost.com (staff@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Jan 23, 2013 03:10 PM EST

(Photo : REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

The rate of Latinos graduating from high school has spiked by 10 percent, according to new data.

The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics revealed 71 percent of Hispanic students graduated in 2010, up 10 percent from 2006's 61 percent.

The rate of 71 percent is seven percentage points behind the national average, but 12 percentage points behind white students (83 percent). The Latino graduation rate is ahead of black students as the latter's rate is 66 percent, a five percent spread.

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According to the Department of Education's statistics, the best group is Asians, graduating at 93 percent.

"It's promising that high school graduation rates are up for all ethnic groups in 2010 - especially for Hispanics, whose graduation rate has jumped almost 10 points since 2006," said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, according to Fox News Latino, who noted the report as "good news."

"The trends are hopeful but our high school dropout rate is still unsustainably high and it's untenable in many of our African-American and Latino communities," Duncan added. "We have a long way to go here."

The report does appear to show each U.S. state's graduation rate on the increase, except for the District of Columbia, which saw its graduation rates decline.

The data, titled "Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2009-10" was released this month.

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