High School Graduation Rate

Why This Is Important

Students who do not graduate from high school face a challenging future because the basic skills young people learn in high school and higher education are essential for success. Students who do not receive these skills are likely to suffer with significantly reduced earnings and employment prospects.

What's Being Done

Minneapolis Public Schools' (MPS) high school graduation rate has increased significantly over the past several years. MPS' goal, however, does not end with high school graduation; rather, its overarching goal is to make every child college-ready. College graduates earn significantly more over their lifetimes than high school graduates and experience other significant advantages in life.

Nearly everything MPS does is geared toward the ultimate goal of college readiness. Key initiatives to improve graduation rates include:

  • Raising the expectations of students, staff and community that all students, regardless of background, can achieve at high levels and should be prepared for college.
  • Making sure that MPS' curriculum, across all of its grade levels, adequately prepares students for college.
  • Identifying and correcting policies and practices that perpetuate racial inequality and the achievement gap.
  • Investing in developing high performing teachers and principals and providing the support they need to obtain excellent results for all students.
  • Implementing high-quality, rigorous "Core 4" programs in every high school, such as College in the Schools, Advanced Placement, Signature Career & Technical Education and International Baccalaureate, and increasing access to online learning and college courses.
  • Implementing a rigorous accountability system for all staff across the district.
  • Transforming relationships with families, including expanding programs such as Connecting Parents to Educational Opportunities that educate parents about college access and how to help their children succeed in school.
  • Requiring all ninth graders to complete My Life Plan, a tool for raising student expectations and purposefully planning the path to high school graduation and college entrance.
  • Providing a college and career center in each high school, in partnership with Achieve Minneapolis, to serve as a hub within schools for engaging students with the outside world via speakers, internships and summer jobs (e.g., Step-Up program). The centers also support students through the process of researching and applying to colleges and financing college.

About This Measure

On March 19th of 2012, Minnesota's cohort-adjusted graduation rates were recalculated to reflect a change to the calculation. This change was required by the US Department of Education. The graduation rates for most schools and districts changed slightly as a result of the recalculation. Please see the help documents in "Data Reports and Analytics," for more information on the change.

The 4-Year Graduation Rate shows the number of students graduating from high school within four years after entering grade nine. To determine this rate, we identify all students who entered ninth grade four years ago. The next step is to add in any students who moved into the district and subtract out any students who moved away. This adjusted number represents the total number students who are eligible to graduate. The actual Graduation Rate is determined by dividing the total number of students who actually graduated by the number eligible to graduate.

The 5-Year and 6-Year Graduation Rates show the number of students who took additional time to earn sufficient credits or meet other graduation requirements and to receive a high school diploma from their district.

Last updated Feb 25, 2013

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