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Minnesota education officials report small decrease in 2023's graduation rate

Minnesota sees dip in graduation rate
Minnesota sees dip in graduation rate 02:04

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota education officials on Thursday released the class of 2023's graduation rate data, which shows a slight decrease from the previous year.

According to the Minnesota Department of Education, 83.3% of the 2023 class — 58,293 students — graduated from high school in four years. That is a 0.3% decrease from the graduation rate observed in 2022.

Officials say the slight decrease in the total graduation rate is partially due to the 0.4% increase in the unknown rate, which tracks students "who were either incorrectly reported or were not reported as enrolled elsewhere."

In 2023, there were also 3,874 students from earlier classes who earned their diplomas.

"I am proud of the students in the Class of 2023," MDE Commissioner Willie Jett said. "Every student has a unique story, and their effort and commitment deserve celebration. I am also grateful for the hard work our educators, families, and communities invest into supporting our students."

Graduation rates for minority students

According to education officials, graduation rates for Black, Asian, Latino and English learner student groups saw a decline, but there are some positive signs.

Graduation rates declined by 1.4% for Black students (73.5%), but the rate has been trending upward over the last five years, up from 69.9% in 2019.

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The graduation rate for students of two or more races also increased by 1.1% and is now sitting at 79.2%

The graduation rate for Native American students (61.3%) did not change from the previous year.

Asian and White students have the highest graduation rates at 87.2% and 88.4% respectively.  

Minneapolis, St. Paul school districts say error caused big drop in grad rate 

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts saw falling grad rates, with Minneapolis at 67.8% and St. Paul at 68.5%.

However, both districts blame the large drop due to an error that didn't count summer graduates. With the correction, both districts say they would be over 73%, which is still a slight drop from last year. 

Anoka-Hennepin School District's grad rate climbed to 86.7%, up almost a percentage point from 2022. 

It's important to note that the 2023 class was just starting high school when the pandemic began, so these numbers illuminate the pandemic's impact on education. 

Before the pandemic, Minnesota's class of 2020 had a record-high graduation rate of 83.8%.

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