The Iowa Department of Education says more high school students graduated in 2012 than the year before. The Department of Education says the statewide graduation rate in 201 was 89.26-percent, which is up just under once percent (.94) from the graduation rate in 2011.
Staci Hupp is the department’s spokesperson. “It’s a testament to the hard work and the commitment of the educators and school leaders across the state. We do believe we have some work ahead of us,” Hupp says.
“You know the graduation rate is one benchmark for becoming a world class education system, another is achievement. So while our graduation rates are something to be very proud of, we’ve also show a pattern of stagnation on national assessments and the state faces significant gaps in achievement among high need students.”
Hupp says schools have done a better job of helping students. “They have I guess you would says a heightened focus on tailoring instruction and differentiating instruction to ensure their success. Districts have also improved their efforts to intervene with students who have dropped our or who are at risk to drop out just in general,” Hupp says.
The Department of Education began a process of assigning freshmen students a unique I.D. number in 2008 to allow schools to track their progress through high school. Hupp says that number helps schools keep better track and they don’t have to wait four years to find the status of a student.
She says school districts are also required to identify at-risk students and work with them. The information from the department says graduation rates increased by nearly four percent for students who do not speak English as their first language and were up by nearly three percent for students with disabilities.
The department says graduation rates fell in only two subgroups of students, Native Americans and Asians. Hupp says anytime you are dealing with smaller groups of students the data can have more fluctuation and they look at longer-term trends to be sure there are not problems.
See the school by school breakdown on graduation rates here: Graduation rates 2012 PDF