High School Graduation Rate
The rate at which black and non-black students graduate from public high schools within the City of St. Louis within four years
High School Graduation Rate measures the rate at which black and non-black students graduate from public high schools within four years.
A score of 100 represents racial equity, meaning there are no racial disparities in outcomes between black and white populations. The lower the Equity Score, the greater the disparity.
For High School Graduation Rate, a score of 100 — a score reflecting racial equity — means black and non-black students graduate from public or charter high school within 4 years at equal rates. It is important to note that for this indicator, equity is not our only goal: we also want to improve outcomes for all.
What does this indicator measure?
High School Graduation Rate measures the rate at which black and non-black students graduate from public high schools within the City of St. Louis within four years. Schools include those in the St. Louis City School District and charter schools. Nearly all students who graduated did so within 4 years (99%). In 2016, there were 1,635 students who graduated within four years out of a total of 1,946 students, for a graduation rate of 83.3%.
High school graduation rate analysis
Students who graduate from high school within four years in St. Louis City.
|All||Non-Black||Black||Disparity Ratio||Equity Score|
|High school students who graduate within four years||1,621||323||1,298||-||-|
|Four-year high school graduation rate||83.3%||80.1%||84.1%||0.953 to 1||100|
Data Source: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2016.
Data Note: The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education defines an adjusted cohort as “students who enter [the 9th grade] for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently ‘adjusted’ by adding any students who transfer into the cohort later and subtracting any students who transfer out, emigrate to another country, or die during that same period.” Because there are few Hispanic, Asian, and white students within St. Louis Public Schools and charter schools, for many schools the data are redacted when disaggregated by race. It is for this reason all non-black students are grouped together. For Gateway Science Academy, we estimated the number of black graduates based on the percentage of black students in total enrollment (11%). Magnet schools in 2016 included Carnahan School of the Future, Central Visual and Performing Arts, Cleveland NJROTC, Clyde J. Miller Career Academy, Gateway STEM Academy, McKinley Classical Leadership Academy, Metro, Northwest Academy of Law, and Soldan International Studies. Non-magnet schools in 2016 included Vashon High, Sumner High, and Roosevelt High. Beaumont Technical Center and Community Access Job Training are excluded from all analyses.
What does this analysis mean?
Black students at public or charter high schools in the City of St. Louis are more likely to graduate from high school than non-black students (84.1% versus 80.2%). Too many students do not graduate from high school, no matter their race. This indicator demonstrates that equity is necessary but not sufficient for good outcomes. Most of our graduates for this indicator are produced by St. Louis Public Schools, which has the lowest graduation rate of all districts in the city. However, graduation rates vary significantly between the magnet schools (91.1%) and non-magnet schools (62.6%) within St. Louis Public Schools. The charter schools all have higher rates, graduating between 91-98% of their students.
On a related note, a total of 930 students in grades 9-12 in St. Louis dropped out of school in 2016. 90% of all students who dropped out attended St. Louis Public Schools, while 62, or 7%, attended Confluence Academies. According to the Office of Data System Management for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, schools report students as dropouts if students of any grade are no longer attending the school and the school does not know where they are.
High school dropout rate analysis
Grade 9-12 students who drop out of St. Louis Public Schools in St. Louis City.
|All||Black||White||Disparity Ratio||Equity Score|
|High school dropout rate||13.8%||14.8%||12.2%||1.213 to 1||75|
Black students are 21% more likely to drop out of St. Louis Public Schools than white students. Black students are most likely to drop out of high school (14.8%), followed by Hispanic students (12.6%), and white students (12.2%). Asian students are the least likely to drop out of high school (9.9%).
Why does High School Graduation Rate matter?
Low high school graduation rates continue to contribute to the number of residents in our community who do not have a high school diploma. Earning a high school diploma is a minimum requirement for many jobs and to pursue further education. Residents who drop out of school have lower incomes and have fewer job opportunities than more educated peers.
Which Calls to Action from the Ferguson Commission report are linked with this indicator?
One of the Ferguson Commission’s priority areas is providing rigorous primary and secondary education. To achieve that goal, the Commission released the following calls to action:
Questions for further investigation
- What can St. Louis do to increase High School Graduation Rates?
How can I learn more about this issue?
The Alliance for Excellent Education publishes many reports on national, regional, and metro-area social and economic impacts of dropouts on communities, as well as sharing best practices from across the country to reduce dropout rates.