Colorado Student Dropout Rate Rises For The First Time In 8 Years

Colorado’s high school graduation rate is the same as last year – 77.3 percent of students graduating.

But the state dropout rate increased very slightly. It’s the first time the dropout rate has increased after eight years of decreases. It’s now 2.5 percent, which translates to about 568 more students dropping out.

Chart: Colorado Student Drop Out Rate (STAFF)

For graduation rates, the Sheridan school district, southwest of Denver, saw the biggest increase – 16 percentage points, with three-quarters of their students graduating now. Nearly 65 percent of Denver’s students are graduating – up over the previous year.

Some districts have had success lowering the drop out rate by focusing their approaches says Judith Martinez with the Colorado Department of Education.

"Eighth to ninth grade transitions and focus on reducing the number of course failures in ninth grade are really strategies that are leading to improvement,” she said.

For the first time, the graduation rate for minority students inched above 70 percent. And while more than 81 percent of girls graduate, the rate for boys is around 73 percent.