As high school graduation ceremonies end, a statewide analysis provides a snapshot of graduation rates for different student groups and the schools they attended.
Dr. Anabel Aportela, director of research for Arizona Association of School Business Officials and Arizona School Boards Association, analyzed data reported to the Arizona Department of Education for students who graduated high school in the Class of 2019, and she found that online instruction graduation rates are substantially lower than those of brick-and-mortar alternative, district and charter schools, as well as a significant gap in graduation rates for different student groups.
Overall, 88.8% of district school students graduated in 2019, or 60,076 of the cohort of 67,667 freshmen who started out four years earlier at all types of public district schools – traditional, online, and alternative. Meanwhile, 48.7% of charter school students graduated, or 8,423 of the cohort of 17,290 who started out at all types of charter schools – traditional, online, alternative and alternative online, according to Dr. Aportela’s analysis.
“Most of Arizona’s high school graduates are coming from traditional district high schools,” Dr. Aportela said. “The business community, which is concerned about the school to workforce pipeline, would do well to understand this and find more ways of investing in strengthening these schools.”