Education

Iowa's high school graduation rate slips from record high

Data: 91 percent of Class of 2017 graduated in four years

Cedar Rapids Community School District buses at the Education Leadership Support Center in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, August 7, 2014. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Community School District buses at the Education Leadership Support Center in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, August 7, 2014. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

Iowa’s four-year high school graduation rate slipped last school year for the first time since 2011, Iowa Department of Education data released Wednesday shows.

About 91 percent of students in Iowa’s Class of 2017 graduated in four years, down from a record high of 91.3 percent for the Class of 2016.

“While I’m disappointed in this one-year decrease, our long-term trend is still on the rise,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said in a statement. “And I’m confident we have the right road map in place for education.”

Until 2017, Iowa’s four-year grad rate steadily had improved since 2011, when 88.3 percent of students graduated.

Iowa typically has one of the highest graduation rates in the nation, and has a goal of a 95 percent graduation rate.

John McGlothlen / The Gazette

In the Corridor, most public school districts’ graduation rates were near or above the state’s overall rate of 91 percent.

The Solon, Marion Independent, Mount Vernon, College and Linn-Mar classes of 2017 had rates above 92 percent.

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The Iowa City Community School District’s rate in 2017 was 90.2 percent, down from the 2016’s 93.6 percent rate.

Graduation rates for the Clear Creek Amana and Cedar Rapids school districts trailed behind.

About 84.5 percent of Clear Creek Amana’s Class of 2017 graduated in four years. The Cedar Rapids district’s 2017 rate was 83.7 percent.

The state’s dropout rate, which measures students in grades 9 through 12 who drop out in a single school year, remained steady at 2.8 percent, data show.

Iowa’s dropout rate increased last year for the first time since 2011.

l Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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