Idaho's four-year graduation rate holds steady

Posted at 3:42 AM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-20 11:01:36-05

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho’s four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2019 remained steady, coming in at 80.7 percent, compared to 80.6 percent in 2018. The percentage of students who graduated in five years increased from 82.0 percent to 82.8 percent, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said Friday.

Across Idaho, 56 school districts and 85 schools have four-year graduation rates of 90 percent or higher, and 14 of those districts and 21 schools boasted 100 percent graduation rates.

Some student groups saw increases in their four-year rate in 2019. Specifically, American Indian students’ graduation rate rose by nearly 7 percentage points, from 60.7 percent in 2018 to 67.6 percent in 2019. And the graduation rate for Black/ African American students increased by 2.2 percentage points, from 71.4 percent in 2018 to 73.6 percent in 2019.

But disparities when measuring a four-year rate still exist for other subgroups:

· The graduation rate for Hispanic/Latino students fell by 2 percentage points, from 75.9% in 2018 to 73.9% in 2019

· The graduation rate for students with disabilities fell by 2.4 percentage points from 58.5% in 2018 to 56.1% in 2019

· The percentage of English Learners fell by 1.1 percentage points from 75.5% in 2018 to 74.4% in 2019

· The percentage of migrant students graduating fell by 5.6 percentage points from 69.9% in 2018 to 64.3% in 2019. The mobility of this student population is a possible factor in the decline.

But the data for some of these same student populations showed improvement when comparing their five-year graduation rate to their four-year rate:

· Students who are homeless reported an increase of 4.8 percentage points

· Students in foster care reported a 4.6 percentage point increase

· Students with disabilities showed a 3.7 percentage point increase

· English learners reported a 3.6 percentage point increase

This is the second year Idaho has calculated a five-year graduation rate.

“Including a five-year rate gives us a more complete picture of Idaho students’ completion rates,” Superintendent Ybarra said. “Our results this year are modest, but I’m confident the great work of Idaho’s teachers and schools, plus the support offered by my department, will result in more gains in the future. In addition, I believe our efforts to increase funding for literacy, teacher pay and social-emotional learning will yield growth in graduation rates and student achievement.”