Graduation rates for the 2020 school year were released by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Thursday, and the numbers offered an encouraging glimpse of how seniors were impacted by the onset of the pandemic.
Robbinsdale Area Schools demonstrated consistent strength with a four-year graduation rate of 80.2 percent in 2020. While the number represents a decrease of 1.4 percentage points compared to 2019 (81.6 percent), it showed remarkable stability considering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the final months of the 2019-20 school year.
“All of our scholars, but especially our graduating class of 2020, showed incredible perseverance as they quickly learned how to perform in a virtual classroom during what was probably one of the most uncertain times of their lives,” said Dr. Stephanie Burrage, Interim Superintendent. “But at the end of the day, we’re in the business of educating students, providing all of our scholars with diplomas, and making sure they’re all college- and career-ready. We’re seeing consistent strength in this data, but we also know we can do better.”
In addition to the slight decrease from 2019 rates, the district’s overall 2020 graduation rate is lower than the statewide average of 83.8 percent. But the number also represents perseverance: it’s an increase compared to the district’s average graduation rate for the past decade (2011-20), which was consistently under 80 percent.
Highlights from the data:
- Armstrong High School’s graduation rate increased by 1 percentage point, and Robbinsdale Academy - Highview’s rate increased 3.8 percentage points in 2020.
- Cooper High School’s graduation rate of 84.3 percent, while a decrease from last year, remains greater than in most of the last decade.
- The graduation rate for Black/African American students increased 0.1 percentage point to 71.4 percent, which remains 2.2 percentage points higher than the state.
- The graduation rate for Robbinsdale’s Hispanic/Latino students is 75.4 percent, which is 5 percentage points higher than the state.
- The graduation rate for students receiving special education increased 5 percentage points from 2019, and is 2.4 percentage points higher than the state.
- The graduation rate for Robbinsdale students receiving free/reduced price lunch was 72.1 percent, and remains 0.5 percentage points higher than the state.