Iowa’s high school graduation rate has increased for the fifth year in a row while dropout rates edged up for the first time since the 2009-10 school year, according to figures released today by the Iowa Department of Education.
State data show 91.3 percent of students in Iowa’s Class of 2016 graduated within four years, up from 90.8 percent for the Class of 2015. Iowa’s annual dropout rate was 2.8 percent in the 2015-16 school year, up from 2.5 percent in the 2014-15 school year. The state’s 2015-16 dropout rate represents 4,154 students in grades 9-12.
Graduation rates and dropout rates can increase simultaneously because they measure different groups of students. The four-year graduation rate follows one class of students over time – for example, students in the Class of 2016 starting with their enrollment as first-time freshmen during the 2012-13 school year – while annual dropout rates represent the number of students who dropped out of grades 9-12 during one school year.
“Graduation is a critical milestone in every student’s path to success,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said. “While we’re proud that Iowa continues to lead nationally in high school graduation rates, we have work to do. We must ensure all Iowa high school students not only graduate, but do so with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in postsecondary education and training.”
For more information on Iowa’s graduation rates and dropout rates, including rates by school district and by student subgroup, visit the Iowa Department of Education’s website.