During the past several decades, Texas educators have worked hard to implement stay-in-school programs. Consequently, the graduation rate is on the rise. A National Center for Education Statistics report finds that Texas now has one of the highest graduation rates in the country. A graduation plan created by state lawmakers in 2013 is designed to give students the flexibility to follow their interests by creating "endorsements" or specialized areas of study. Beginning with the Class of 1987, the state has required students to pass state standardized tests, as well as their classes, in order to earn a high school diploma.