Report: Utah high school graduations on the rise

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4)- The Utah State Board of Education released its four-year graduation report detailing the state’s high school graduation and dropout rate.

Figures for 2021 show Utah’s high school graduation rate for the year at 88.1%. The percentage is roughly the same as 2020 at 88.2%, according to the report. However, there were 1,233 more students in high school this year than in 2020. 

In their breakdown, Asian students had the highest rate of graduation at 91.7% for the year. White students were the second highest at 90.4%. Students with disabilities had the lowest rate of graduation at 73.1%. The second-lowest was English Learner students at 75.3%. 

As for the dropout rate, Utah’s rate for 2021 is at 10%. The report says the dropout rate is the same as in 2020. The report also said that the dropout rate is continuing to decrease from 11.4% in 2017. 

The lowest dropout rate was among Asian students at 7%, followed by White students at 7.8%. English Learner students made up the largest percentage of students who dropped out of high school at 20.3%, followed by Black/African American students at 20.3%.

“Focus should be drawn to students who are African American or Black, students who are American Indian, students who are economically disadvantaged,” the report said with regard to the group of students who “would most benefit from steps taken to reduce the dropout rate.”

Over the past five years, the Utah State Board of Education said the state’s graduation rates have either remained consistent or improved, even with the number of students increasing. 

“With numerous student groups of graduation rates consistently below 90% and dropout rates greater than 10%, there are many students and student groups that would benefit from continued efforts to increase graduation rates of Utah students,” the report said.

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