Missouri is on track to 90%; more work remains ahead
Missouri continues to close in on a 90 percent graduation rate, but the recent release of the Building a GradNation report reminds us the work must continue to ensure all students succeed.
In December, the United States Department of Education showcased Missouri increased its graduation rate to 87.3 percent and placed it among the top 10 states in the country.
But several student subpopulations remain in need of help on the road to graduate from high school.
“There are also very real concerns that too many of our most vulnerable students remain trapped in low-graduate-rate schools, and that the alternative pathways that have been created to meet their needs may, in many cases, not be up to the task,” written in the executive summary of the report.
An additional 284,591 students will be needed each year leading up to 2020 in order to attain the 90 percent goal; however, the report showcases five possible roadblocks to that path, including:
- Contentment of states who have graduation rates in the 80s;
- A failure to not serve all student populations in order to graduate;
- Passing the most at-risk populations off to other groups or entities as they’re seen as “someone else’s problem”;
- Not holding strong graduation rate standards and accountability under the passage of Every Student Succeeds Act
- Having different pathways for attaining a diploma for different students.
In Missouri, we need a little more than 6,000 additional graduates in order to achieve the goal. The state has already reached that level or better among white and Asian Pacific Islander student populations.
Black, Hispanic, low-income, English language learners and students with disabilities are among those with the greatest need.
Currently, the graduation rates for these student populations are as follows:
- 64.3 percent among English language learners
- 74.8 percent for Black students
- 75.3 percent for students with disabilities
- 79.9 percent for Hispanic students
- 80.4 percent for low-income students
- 83.5 percent for Native American students
Increases of 1,739 black students, 1,144 students with disabilities, 2,629 low-income students, 273 Hispanic students and 204 English-language learner students would be needed to help reach the 90 percent goal.
This is where American Graduate plays a significant role in helping our community become aware of the issues surrounding these students and ensuring they have the supports needed to succeed.
Although Missouri seems to be well on track in reaching the 90 percent goal, the road gets rougher in addressing tougher issues of students in our community. But we remain committed to working with partners to ensure all students have the opportunity to graduate and succeed.