Diplomas Count report shows Kansas continues to exceed national graduation rates

Diplomas Count report shows Kansas continues to exceed national graduation rates

Education Week recently released its final edition of Diplomas Count; a report showing graduation rate information by state and student subgroup.  They have been producing this annual report since 2006, but indicated that they will no longer be doing so because “thanks to… advances in state and federal reporting practices, the need for the type of uniform, independent analysis provided by Diplomas Count has become less urgent.”  You can find the report here.

The report relies on the Public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate data provided by NCES.  Data is reported for all students, by race/ethnicity, and by participation in certain school programs.  You can find the data here (from EdWeek) or here (from NCES).

The following table shows the percents for the U.S. and for Kansas from 2014 along with Kansas’s rank on each measure:

2014 U.S. Kansas
Rate Rate Rank
All Students 82.3       85.7 21
American Indian / Alaska Native 69.6       76.0 21
Asian / Pacific Islander 89.4       90.0 16
Hispanic 76.3       78.7 16
Black 72.5       77.0 19
White 87.2       88.3 22
Economically disadvantaged 74.6       76.9 22
Limited English proficiency 62.6       75.0 6
Students with disabilities 63.1       76.7 4

As the data shows, Kansas has a higher graduation rate than the rest of the country across all categories.  In addition, Kansas ranks very high in terms of graduation rates for students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency, fairly high in terms of graduation rates for Asian / Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and Black students, and above average for all students, American Indian / Alaska Native, White, and economically disadvantaged students.

However, comparing this data to the same statistics from 2011 (the first year it was available), we can see that Kansas has gone from 12th to 21st among the states in terms of the graduation rate for all students.  Kansas’s ranks for the rate for Hispanic students, students with limited English proficiency, and students with disabilities have all gone up, but Kansas’s ranks for the graduation rate of all other groups have gone down.

2011 U.S. Kansas
Rate Rate Rank
All Students 79       83 12
American Indian / Alaska Native 65       72 18
Asian / Pacific Islander 87       88 14
Hispanic 71       73 17
Black 67       72 18
White 84       86 17
Economically disadvantaged 70       73 14
Limited English proficiency 57       70 8
Students with disabilities 59       73 3
The actual graduation rates for Kansas have increased across all categories, but Kansas appears to be losing its advantage; as the U.S. graduation rates appear to be increasing at a higher rate than the Kansas rates.  
This data echos others KASB has reported recently because it shows that, though Kansas still does better than average, recent trends indicate we are not staying as far ahead of the crowd as we used to.