SPPS Graduation Rates Surpass State Averages, Narrow Achievement Gap
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 2:25 PM

Graduation rates in nearly all high schools in Saint Paul Public Schools exceed the state’s average, significantly reducing the racial disparity between white students and students of color, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) announced Wednesday.

MDE released graduation rates from 2011 to 2013 for high schools statewide during a news conference. In school districts throughout Minnesota, graduation rates improved at the highest rates in more than a decade. Saint Paul Public Schools was no exception.

“This is fundamentally the result of a culture shift within Saint Paul Public Schools,” said Superintendent Valeria Silva. “We are starting to see the results from the Strong Schools, Strong Communities strategic plan and in our work to ensure educational equity for all students.”

Nationally, black students have the lowest graduation rates of all racial groups. The school district’s strategic plan, Strong Schools, Strong Communities, includes a significant racial equity component that seeks to raise achievement of all students while accelerating achievement for the lowest performing students.

At Como Park Senior High School, the gap between black and white students showed an impressive 12 percent decrease from 2011 to 2013. Other SPPS high schools followed lead. Central Senior High School narrowed the gap by 7 percent, Highland Park Senior High School by 2 percent, and Harding Senior High School by 1 percent.

Other highlights include:

  • The state average for graduation rates for all students is 79 percent. Most SPPS schools have percentages that are equal to or higher than the state average. Also, most high schools increased graduation rates of all students from 2012 to 2013.
  • The state average for graduation rates for black students is 57 percent. The graduation rates for black students in SPPS schools are higher than the state average at most high schools.
  • The state average for graduation rates for English Language Learning (ELL) students is 59 percent. The graduation rates for ELL students in SPPS schools are higher than the state average at all SPPS schools.
  • Most high schools increased graduation rates of student demographic groups including racial/ethnic and other demographics.
  • More details of SPPS high school graduation rates per student groups can be found here.