Minnesota's graduation rate reached an all-time high last year despite online learning and other challenges brought with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released this month by the Minnesota Department of Education.
Minnesota public high school students in the Class of 2020 reached a graduation rate of 83.8%, according to MDE.
Minnesota's statewide four-year graduation rate continues to trend upward with a gain of 1.3 percentage points in the last five years.
Class of 2020 graduation rate in southwest metro schools:
- Prior Lake High School: 97.8%, up 0.1 points
- Chanhassen High School: 95.8%, up 0.4 points
- Chaska High School: 95%, up 0.9 points
- Jordan High School: 94.3%, up 1.1 points
- Shakopee High School: 90.7%, up 2.8 points
- Burnsville High School: 85.2%, down 1.6 points
Shakopee High School's graduation rate saw the biggest increase in the southwest metro compared to 2019, reaching its highest point in the past five years. Burnsville High School's graduation rate ticked downward, reaching its lowest point over the same time period.
Across Minnesota, data continues to show deep disparities in the four-year graduation rates among different demographic groups.
“While we have so much to be proud of in Minnesota, we know that we still have work to do to close gaps and increase access, participation and representation to ensure every single student graduates from high school," State Education Commissioner Heather Mueller said this month in a news release.
While graduation rates improved for Asian students, Hispanic students and American Indian students, the statewide graduation rate ticked down 0.7 points last year for Black students to 69.2%.
The graduation rate of American Indian students increased nearly 5 points in 2020 to 55.7%, but huge disparities remain.
With a gain of 0.3 points, white students graduated at a rate of 89% and Asian students, who gained 1.5 points, reached 89.1%.
Hispanic students graduated at a rate of 70.4% with an increase of 0.5 points compared to last year.
"Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan’s Due North Education Plan will continue to guide us in eliminating barriers and building out the systems and structures we need to center our students so that every student is seen, valued, heard and represented throughout their entire educational experience," Mueller said.
The latest data also showed that fewer students are dropping out of high school.
From 2019 to 2020, the overall statewide high school dropout rate decreased from 4.4% to 3.7%. A drop occurred in every major student group.
“Seeing dropout rates continue to decrease is incredibly promising,” Mueller said. “When our school communities rally around students to help them complete high school, we can make a real difference."