Colorado dropout rates decline in schools, while graduation rate improves | SummitDaily.com

Colorado dropout rates decline in schools, while graduation rate improves

Alli Langley
alangley@summitdaily.com

Data released Thursday, Jan. 22, by the Colorado Department of Education shows the state saw a decrease in the dropout rate for the eighth consecutive year.

The 2013-14 dropout rate is 2.4 percent, an improvement of 0.1 percentage points from last year that represents 118 fewer students who dropped out.

The on-time graduation rate for the class of 2014 increased 0.4 percentage points to 77.3 percent compared to last year, representing 730 more graduates in the class of 2014.

Summit School District joined 125 others (or 71 percent of districts) to achieve a four-year on-time graduation rate at or above the state's expectation of 80 percent.

In Colorado, local school boards set their own graduation requirements, which means expectations for earning a diploma may differ from district to district.

"There is cause for optimism in these steadily improving results," said Rebecca Holmes, associate commissioner for innovation, choice and engagement at CDE. "Many districts are doing remarkable work to move more and more students toward readiness for the day after high school graduation, even if that means giving them more than four years to get there. However, in our state as a whole, the gaps based on race, ethnicity and income level are still concerning. We should all be learning from the outstanding schools and districts where a student's demographics do not determine their educational outcomes."

Recommended Stories For You

Among racial and ethnic groups, the on-time graduation rate for 2013-14 was 84.7 percent for Asian students, 83.2 percent for white students, 79.7 percent for students reported as two or more races, 73.4 percent for Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 69 percent for black students, 66.7 percent for Hispanic students and 60.7 percent for American Indian students.

The on-time graduation for females was 81 percent, and the male rate was 73.7 percent. These rates reflect a slight narrowing, by less than 1 percent, of the gap between female and male students compared to last year.

Combining all graduates with those completers who receive a certificate, a designation of high school completion or a GED certificate determines the completion rate. The 2013-14 completion rate was 79.5 percent, down 0.1 percent from last year.

For interactive tools and maps that illustrate how the graduation and dropout rates look across the state, visit the Colorado Department of Education's Graduation Statistics and Dropout Statistics web pages.

Colorado school enrollment continues to grow

The Colorado Department of Education recently announced that the statewide preschool through 12th-grade pupil count for 2014-15 increased by 12,007 over the previous year, bringing the state total to 889,006 public school students.

This change represents an increase of 1.4 percent, lower than the 1.6 percent growth rate in the 2013-14 school year and lower than the median and mean average growth rate of 1.7 in the past 20 years.

The greatest growth in enrollment is in urban/suburban districts. The largest 15 school districts, with a total enrollment of 601,401, represent 68 percent of the total statewide enrollment. This percentage is unchanged from the year before.

On the other end of the size spectrum, 135 of Colorado's 185 local education agencies have an enrollment of fewer than 2,000 students. The 135 agencies now enroll 70,067 students, 8 percent of the total number of students in the state. Of those, 110 enroll fewer than 1,000 students. These 110 agencies enroll 4 percent of the state's students.

The greatest growth in federal race/ethnicity groups, by percentage, is in students classified as two or more races. The count for this group increased by 7 percent to 32,707 in 2014.

The largest race/ethnicity change, by number, is in students identified as Hispanic and Latino; their count increased to 294,435 in 2014, a 7,033 increase.

Students identified as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander increased by 3.7 percent, while all other race/ethnicity groups have less than a 1.5 percent change over the last year.

This year's enrollment includes 17,060 students, or 2 percent of students, registered in online education. Online enrollment is up 5 percent over 2013, 30 percent over 2009 and 342 percent over 2004.

THIS WEEK IN SUMMIT SCHOOLS

Monday, Jan. 26

Summit Middle School, girls basketball vs. BSMS, 2:30-7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Central Admin. Office, Board of Education Meeting, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 28

Breckenridge Elementary, 21st Century Parents Night: IB & Exhibition, 5 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29

Summit High School, hockey vs. Monarch, 6 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 30

Summit High School, boys basketball vs. Rifle, 7 p.m.