graduation 1

Graduation rates have increased for all students in the metro, but significant disparities exist for lower income students of color.

Let's Break It Down

Disparities based on race and ethnicity exist throughout the metro, but they have decreased in Pottawattamie County.

In Pottawattamie County schools, graduation rates for all students have increased since 2010. At the same time, disparities between races have decreased. In addition, graduation rates for lower income students (those who receive a free or reduced lunch, FRL) were about the same as all students.

In Pottawattamie Schools, White students had the highest graduation rates with Hispanic and Black students slightly lower in the 2013-2014 school year. Lower income students had a slightly lower graduation rate in the 2013-14 school year.

It’s also important to consider these findings over time to understand how our schools are trending. While there are disparities based on socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity, overall, graduation rates are improving in local schools.

Douglas & Sarpy County Graduation Rates

Pottawattamie County Graduation Rates

Why Does It Matter?

A high school diploma is required by 3/4 of jobs and increases earnings by $7,000 per year.

According to the Nebraska Department of Labor, over three-fourths of jobs require a high school diploma or GED. Locally, someone with a high school degree earns over $7,000 more per year than someone without a high school diploma. Because a high school diploma is becoming more of a minimum requirement for employment, students who graduate are more likely to get a higher paying job.

More research is finding that there are other key indicators for success in school beyond test scores. Personal characteristics like hope or grit are emerging as important measures. Research through Gallup has shown strong links between grades, and hope and well-being. These studies indicate that the more hopeful a student feels about his or her future, the more engaged and motivated they may be to stay in school, and ultimately graduate. Because of these findings, more school districts are collecting data on hope and engagement to better understand how their students are faring.

While graduating high school is important, it is also important that graduates are prepared for college or a career. Skills like problem solving, cooperation, and communication are important to have in addition to skills in subjects like math, science or reading. Without these a student may be able to graduate, but won't be able to be successful in college or a career.

How Do We Compare?

Graduation rates in our community are higher than the national average.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 82% of students graduated from high school in the 2013-14 school year. To break that down further, 87% of White, 73% of Black and 76% of Hispanic students graduated. Graduation rates locally for Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie County schools are all higher than the national averages.

Data Source: Nebraska Department of Education, Iowa Department of Education, U.S. Census American Community Survey 2014 5- Year Estimates Table B20004, National Center for Education Statistics-High School Graduation


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