Graduation gap still exists between white students, black students

Ellarry PrenticeFeatured News, Print St. Joseph, St. JosephLeave a Comment

by Mike Knaak

St. Cloud’s two public high schools improved their four-year graduation rates in 2019, but there’s still a significant gap between white students and black students.

At Apollo High School, the overall graduation rate was 79.4 percent, compared with 77.4 percent a year earlier.

At Tech High School, the overall graduation rate was 81.4 percent compared with 79.9 percent a year earlier.

The gap between white students and black students at Apollo was 26 percentage points, with the white student rate at 90.4 percent and the black student rate at 64.1 percent.

A similar gap exists for students who are English language learners, who graduate at a rate of 63.1 percent, and students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals, who graduate at a rate of 70.9 percent.

At Tech, the graduation gap between white and black students was 20.6 percentage points with white students graduating at a rate of 90 percent and black students graduating at a rate of 69.8 percent.

Students who are English language learners recorded a 65.22 percent rate at Tech and students who qualified for free or reduced-price meals graduated at 70.1 percent.

Statewide, the overall graduation rate improved to 83.7 percent, a half percentage-point improvement.

While graduation rates increased statewide for most racial and ethnic student groups, the graduation rate for American Indian students remained steady.

Graduation rates for black students increased 5.2 percentage points (to 69.9) and rates for Hispanic students increased 3.1 percentage points (to 69.9). For American Indian students, the rate remained between 50 and 51 percent.

Fewer students are choosing to drop out of school. From 2018 to 2019, the overall statewide dropout rate decreased from 4.6 percent to 4.4 percent. The rate also dropped for every student group.

Complete graduation data and other details about school performance are available on the Minnesota Department of Education.

The Minnesota Report Card, online at, presents easy to read, mobile-friendly charts and graphs that illustrate trends for all student groups.

Author: Ellarry Prentice

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