State schools doing well
Colorado achieves highest four-year graduation rate since 2010
DENVER – Colorado’s four-year graduation rate increased to 79 percent for the Class of 2017 and is the highest rate since 2010, according to data released today by the Colorado Department of Education.
The Class of 2017 had 858 more graduates than the Class of 2016 or 0.1 percentage points higher than the 2015-16 four-year graduation rate of 78.9 percent. Since 2010, Colorado’s high school graduation rate has increased a total of 6.6 percentage points. Extended year rates for students taking five, six and seven years to graduate also showed improvement.
“Our steady upward trend is a credit to the teachers, parents and students who are working incredibly hard, but we still have work to do, especially in narrowing the achievement gap,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “We see more students who graduate high school with work-ready credentials and who complete several college credits, which means they are ready for next steps after high school to enter higher education, get a living wage job or enter military service.”
Dropout rate at all-time low
The state’s 2016-17 dropout rate remains at 2.3 percent, which was the same rate as 2015-16. This is the second year in a row in which the rate is at an all-time low. In total, the state saw 10,421 students in grades seven through 12 drop out last year.
Graduation rates by ethnicity and race
The state’s graduation gap between minority students and white students continued to narrow in 2017. The current graduation gap is 10.8 percentage points, which narrowed by 1.7 points from the previous year. This represents the seventh consecutive year the racial graduation gap narrowed since 2010. In addition, more minority students are graduating within four years. The four-year graduation rate for minority students is 73.1 percent, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from last year. The table below provides a breakdown of the four-year graduation rate by ethnicity for the Class of 2017.
|Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander||76.5%||150|
|Two or More Races||80.2%||1,756|
Graduation rates by gender
Additionally the statewide, four-year graduation rate for females was 82.8 percent (25,910 graduates) and the male graduation rate was 75.5 percent (24,790 graduates).
The completion rate is determined by combining all graduates with those who receive a certificate, a designation of high school completion, or a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). The Class of 2017 had a completion rate of 80.8 percent, reflecting an additional 1,098 students who received a HSED.
Giving students more time
Colorado has been resolute in keeping students in high school who fall short of graduation requirements or who are participating in their high school’s post-secondary program to earn college credit. Students can remain enrolled beyond their fourth year of high school to graduate in five, six or seven years after entering high school.
A total of 10.1 percent (6,498 students) of the students in the Class of 2017 remain enrolled and have the opportunity to graduate or complete in five, six or seven years from entering high school.
For the Class of 2015-16, the five-year state graduation rate was 84.1 percent. The five-year completion rate was 86.1 percent. For the Class of 2014-15, the six-year state graduation rate was 84.8 percent. The six-year completion rate was 87.4 percent.
Tools to understand the numbers
CDE has created a number of interactive tools and maps to better illustrate how the graduation and dropout rates look across the state.