Utah posts 87 percent high school graduation rate in 6th consecutive year of growth

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Utah’s high school graduation rate climbed to 87 percent in 2018, the sixth consecutive year rates have increased, according to new Utah State Board of Education statistics.

Last spring, 47,487 students graduated from Utah’s public high schools. “This represents 87 percent of students who entered schools as freshmen four years earlier,” according to a news release from the State School Board.

Statewide, high school graduation rates have risen by at least 1 percent annually since 2013, increasing from 81 percent in 2013 to 87 percent this year.

Graduation rates for minority students have risen faster. Asian students have a state-leading 92 percent graduation rate, up from 79 percent in 2013.

Hispanic students have a 78 percent graduation rate, up 10 percent since 2013. Meanwhile, the graduation rate of American Indian students has increased 12 percent over the same time frame, now at 77 percent.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson said she was “heartened to see Utah’s educational outcomes improving over time.”

The graduation rate of students who are economically disadvantaged — 77 percent — was unchanged from a year ago.

Students with disabilities’ graduation rates climbed to 70 percent, up from 69 percent the previous year. Graduation rates of English learners increased from 67 percent to 70 percent.

Graduation rates among all student groups in the 2018 cohort increased with the exception of Pacific Islander, which fell by 1 percent.

“Achievement gaps still exist, but they are narrowing, and that is good news for Utah students and for the future of our state,” Dickson said.

Several schools and school district far exceeded the statewide graduation rate, with Juab District boasting a 97 percent graduation rate three years running. Juab District, which serves about 2,500 students, has one high school.

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