(AP) — Kentucky ranks in the top 10 nationally for its high school graduation rate.
The state's 2013-14 graduation rate of 87.5 percent ranks Kentucky ninth overall and beats the national graduation rate of 82.3 percent.
The figures come from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics.
Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt says a culture has taken hold that a high school diploma is "absolutely necessary" to achieve success.
The statistics show there are gaps in graduation rates among various student groups.
But for the most part, the gaps in Kentucky are smaller than in many states and in the nation as a whole. State education officials say the gaps narrowed and improvement occurred in graduation rates among black and Hispanic students and those who qualify for free/reduced-priced meals.