The Education Department says the number of students who graduated in four years dropped from 91.3% in 2016 to 91% last year. The department says its goal is to have 95% of students graduate in four years. The annual dropout rate remained at 2.8%.
The graduation rate in Iowa has increased by nearly three percent since 2011 and the department says despite the small drop last year, there have been long-term gains in every demographic subgroup of students. Graduation rates for African-American students for example, have gone up four years in a row and by more than nine percent since 2011.
“High school graduation is an essential step for every student because it opens the door to postsecondary education and training opportunities that lead to rewarding jobs,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said in a statement releasing the numbers. “While I’m disappointed in this one-year decrease, our long-term trend is still on the rise and I’m confident we have the right roadmap in place for education.”