American Indian Student Graduation Rate Increases, But Remains Low Compared To Other GroupsBy Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s high school graduation rates have a mixed report card.

The good news is that more high school students than ever.

Related: Graduation Data Available On Minnesota Report Card

Nearly 56,000 graduated from Minnesota High Schools in 2018. That’s an overall graduation rate of 83.2%.

But graduation rates are in a more troubling range for minority students, at 51 to 67%.

All students made gains across the board, with the biggest gains among some ethnic minorities. But overall, some of those ethnic groups were starting at such a low percentage that still trail far behind.

“We know there is more work to be done,” said Minnesota Governor Tim Walz.

In a five-year period, African American students made the largest improvement, jumping from 60.2% to 67.4%. In the same period, Native Americans increased from 48.2% to 51%.

(credit: MN Department of Education)

“No one should be happy with a 51% graduation rate for a group, but I think for us and for our budget that we put forward, we are funding and supporting things that we know work,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.

Walz’s budget calls for $733 million in additional education spending. The state teachers union, Education Minnesota, released a similar message.

“It’s past time for the state to increase its investment in the supports students need to succeed,” said the union in a statement.
The Minnesota Department of Education is currently studying what has worked in high-achieving schools with high concentrations of minority groups.

“The first thing I say to families where a students is struggling to graduate is that we are not giving up on you, we are committed to finding pathways for you to get a high school diploma,” said Minnesota Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker.

It was just last year that Minnesota set an ambitious goal of a 90% graduation rate for all students by the year 2020 — a goal judging by these latest figures will be tough to meet that soon.

Of all groups, Asians have the highest graduation rate in Minnesota with 86.6% graduating.

Minnesota’s graduation rate in 2017 was about in the middle for all U.S. states. That year, Iowa had the highest ranking with 91% of students graduating.

Esme Murphy

  1. Tommy Johnson says:

    So 16.8% of MN kids are not passing HIGH SCHOOL? Extrapolate that over the population of the state of 6,000,000. That is 1,008,000 people in this state walking around, driving, living among us, that can’t even pass High School? Yet we allow non-high school grads to vote? Why? If you can’t pass High School, you sure are in no position to opine on the leaders of our society. Human road apples are taking over!