Slight Improvement in Idaho High School Graduation Rates
Mia Carlson

Slight Improvement in Idaho High School Graduation Rates

BOISE, ID - Nearly eight in 10 high school seniors graduated last year in Idaho, which according to Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra is a slight improvement.  She says while there are some bright spots in the numbers, there is room to improve.

One positive note is that more than 36% of Idaho's high schools, in both rural and urban populations, graduate students at a rate of 90% or higher.

A new study shows the state's overall graduation rate is 79.67%; that is compared to 79.66% in 2016 and 78.91% in 2015.

Ybarra directed staff to take a deeper dive into the statistics to see which, if any, demographics may be undercounted and how the state can help more students achieve their goals of graduation and post-high school success.

“It is exciting to have three years of data using the same formula to calculate rates,” Superintendent Ybarra said. “This allows us to dig deeper into the data, identify trends and ask questions.”

“Did some of them move out of state? Did they earn GEDs (equivalency certificates that do not count in graduation rates)? Did they simply not finish in the time allotted?”
“Finding out the answers will help us understand how to help them,” Superintendent Ybarra said.

Some students need more time:  The State Department of Education will add a five-year cohort for graduation-rate calculations that will help determine how many Idaho students are graduating a year later than the traditional four-year cohort allows.

To illustrate that point: Of the 4,604 students who did not graduate with their 2017 class, 21 percent or 1,005 returned to school this year. Some – 32 – have completed their graduation requirements and received their diploma. The remaining are still enrolled.

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