From 2005 to 2010, that's a 15% increase in graduates.
Some of that likely is due to population growth, because the class of 2010 has been larger than the class of 2005 all along. For example, when they were tested in grade 8, the class of 2010 had 50,841 members, compared to just 47,544 in the class of 2005.
But population changes do not explain all. In grade 8, 2010 had 3,297 more students than 2005. At graduation, 2010 had 5,587 more students than 2005. A 7% increase in grade 8 does not explain away a 15% surge in graduations.
Accordingly, I respectfully submit that Kentucky needs to graduate many more students, and I also respectfully submit that our graduation trends are headed in a positive direction.
Sources: Graduation numbers are taken from the Department of Education's Briefing Packet: Nonacademic Data for 2001 to 2010, available here, while test participation numbers are from the 2006 Kentucky Performance Report and the 2010 Interim Performance report for the state of Kentucky, available here.