Publish date:

Minnesota's high school graduation rate rises, disparities shrink

But there are still significant gaps.

A record 83.2 percent of Minnesota high school seniors graduated in 2018, the highest graduation rate on record and the fifth consecutive year that figure has risen.

The Minnesota Department of Education revealed the latest statistics Tuesday, noting that percentage represents 55,869 students getting their high school diploma.

Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker called graduating a "critical step" for each student's future success.

The increase was felt across the board.

The department says graduation rates went up among all racial/ethnic student groups, as well as English learners, students receiving special education services, and students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals.

The release focuses on progress over the past five years, noting from 2014-18, the graduation rate for students of color and American Indian students went up 4.9 percent. That was enough to reduce the gap between white and non-white students by about 15 percent, the department says.

In terms of raw numbers, that means 977 more American Indian students and students of color got a high school diploma in 2018 than 2014.

But there's still a pretty significant gap, as the chart above shows, particularly with barely half of the state's American Indian students graduating.

In addition, research published last year found Minnesota was in the bottom half of the country when it came to overall graduation rates, and pointed out it is one of five states where the graduation gap between black and white students is more than 20 percent. Minnesota was also highlighted for having some of the lowest graduation rates among non-white students.

“I am proud that the graduation gap is closing, but I am not satisfied,” Ricker said in the release, which notes eliminating these disparities is one of Minnesota's "highest educational priorities."

The state's goal is to have 90 percent of all students graduating by 2020, and to have all student groups' graduation rates above 85 percent.

The Huffington Post explains graduation rates are closely linked with unemployment levels, and those who fail to graduate are more greatly affected when the wider economy struggles. Minnesota has a significant income gap, particularly between white and black residents, with the median income for white people in the state standing at $57,404 in 2015, while for black people it's at $35,695, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Next Up

Joel Eriksson Ek

Eriksson Ek's hat trick completes Wild's rally over Jets

A late review helped the Wild win their home opener.

Screen Shot 2021-10-19 at 8.11.35 PM

Watch: Marcus Foligno starts fight with a superman punch

Foligno was not messing around in the first period.

Union Gospel Mission graffiti side by side - Duluth PD

Vandals target longstanding Duluth soup kitchen, transitional housing site

Union Gospel Mission has been operating in the city since 1922.

i-94 crash st. michael - 2021.10.19

At least 1 dead after 'serious crash' on I-94 in St. Michael

That side of the highway is expected to be closed for at least a few hours.

House for sale

The crazy Twin Cities housing market is showing signs of slowing down

Agents are seeing fewer multiple offers and no inspections are less prevalent.

Ben Simmons

Simmons' reunion with 76ers lasts mere days, chance for Wolves?

Woj says the Sixers remain "steadfast" in their plans for Simmons.

mitchell ottinger

Sub teacher involved in 'sextortion' of more than 10 minors pleads guilty

Some of the minors he knew from the school district where he worked.

flickr ice castles new brighton 2020 - Greg Gjerdingen

The Ice Castles, a winter favorite, are coming back to the Twin Cities

The popular attraction was canceled last winter due to COVID.

joey meatballs

4 new vendors coming to Rosedale's POTLUCK food hall

Three restaurants and a VR company are opening soon.

flickr - Lorie Shaull - Line 3 pipeline Palisade July 2021

Enbridge misses deadline to fix its groundwater blunder

The company had 30 days to stop the leak it caused by not following its submitted plans.

wikimedia commons - the beach boys 2019 - joergens.mi

Beach Boys bringing 2021 holiday tour to Minnesota

The iconic band's "Holiday Harmonies" tour stops at Treasure Island just before the new year.

Related

graduation-2038864_1280

Minnesota's high school graduation rate has hit a new high

More students than ever are graduating within four years, though disparities remain.

graduation-2038864_1280

Minnesota's high school graduation rate hit record high in 2018

It was revealed as part of Minnesota's first 'State of our Students' report.

Graduation

Minnesota's graduation rate increased in 2020, but disparities remain

Last year, 83.8% of high school seniors in Minnesota graduated in four years.

America's high school graduation rate hit a new high last year

Gaps between races also narrowed; Minnesota's ranked a little below average

More students of color are graduating, and the achievement gap is closing

The overall graduation rate in Minnesota was 82.2 percent in 2016, the highest ever recorded in the state.