2020 high school graduation rates reach historic high in Minnesota

Published: Jun. 10, 2021 at 7:12 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 7:16 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Another school year is in the books for Minnesota high school students.

The Minnesota Department of Education unveiled graduation data for the Class of 2020 Thursday. The data includes graduation rates for all students and is broken down into different demographic groups.

The numbers show that 83.8% of Minnesota high school students graduated in four years in 2020, which is a historic high according to the Minnesota Department of Education. Despite the good news, the state believes that there is still work to be done.

“If you look at the graduation rates among the four major racial and ethnic groups, we did see increases in rates for almost every student group. We did see a slight decrease, however, for our Black students and our English learners,” Minnesota Education Director Dr. Heather Mueller, Ed.D., explained.

The Minnesota Department of Education released the class of 2020’s graduation rate data...
The Minnesota Department of Education released the class of 2020’s graduation rate data Thursday, June 10, 2021. Overall, Minnesota high school seniors reached another historic graduation rate high of 83.8% (56,684 students) who graduated in 2020. This continues an upward trend for Minnesota’s statewide four-year graduation rate, which has increased 1.3 percentage points in the last five years. Additionally, 3,490 students from earlier classes also earned their diplomas in 2020, graduating five, six or seven years after beginning high school.(Minnesota Department of Education)

The Mankato Area Public School District’s graduation rate was 86.74% for 2020, an increase from 86.49% in 2019. The graduation rate for Black students in the Mankato area was 74.76% in 2020, which is above the state average of 69.2%.

“It is really about looking at what you do every day with students,” said Travis Olson, director of teaching and learning at Mankato Area Public Schools. “How are you building relationships with students? How are you engaging students? How are you making things relevant to those students so that they want to engage in that work?”

Additionally, there was a record number of students who graduated from Minnesota high schools in 2020, with 56,684 total students earning a diploma. However, there is still a gap among students of different racial groups when it comes to graduation rates. Olson says this is for many reasons.

“It is really a number of factors that goes into that,” Olson said. “It is woven through what we do every day with kids and how to make sure that they are successful, that we are meeting their needs, that we are engaging them and that they feel a part of Mankato Area Public Schools.”

MAPS says that they are working to improve the social and emotional side of education this summer to get ready for the fall.

“Work continues this summer to provide the social and emotional learning needs of our students that will benefit our students for this upcoming school year,” Olson said.

Data for the Class of 2021 won’t be available until sometime next year.

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