Posted by Katherine Courtney, Director of Collective Impact Initiatives and Joohee Rand, VP for Community Investment and Strategies, Santa Fe Community Foundation. Data collection and analysis conducted by the Santa Fe Birth to Career Collaboration (SF B2C) Data Team.
14% Improvement But Significant Gap Remains Against National Average.
The graduation rate for Santa Fe Public Schools increased from 52.5% in 2008 to 66.8% in 2015, an increase of over 14%. This improvement in graduation rate brings Santa Fe closer to the state average of 68.3%.
However, this number remains well below the national average of 82.3%.
The upward trend can be seen in both of Santa Fe’s major public high schools, Santa Fe High and Capital High. Capital High School saw a 16% point increase from 2008-2015.
Biggest Gap Remains for English Language Learners (ELL) and Students with Disabilities (SPED).
The graduation rate remains the lowest for ELL and SPED sub-populations. Little improvement has been made for SPED students over the past years. The graduation rate for ELLs has fallen back in 2015 to 56% from the relatively high improved rate of 66% in 2014.
Can We Close the Gap? What Would It Take?
High school graduation is a major milestone for youth on their path to career and life success. In addition to higher earning power, research indicates that educational attainment is a key predictor of health, mortality, teen childbearing, marital outcomes, crime and a range of other outcomes.
The national GradNation campaign has a goal to achieve a 90 percent nationwide rate by the Class of 2020, with no school graduating fewer than 80 percent of its students on time.
Where would Santa Fe's students be by 2020? What strategies would be needed to help close the gap, especially for students that are falling behind including English Language Learners, students with disabilities, male students, students of color and those who are economically disadvantaged? What do we know about programs that are working? Let's take a closer look and get to action collectively.
Do you have success stories and strategies to share? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.
Sources: NM PED, SFPS, http://www.promisingpractices.net/briefs/briefs_highschoolgrad.asp