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 The Minnesota Department of Education released the class of 2020’s graduation rates and compared them to 2019. Overall, despite graduating during a pandemic, dropout rates decreased across most student groups statewide. 

Cannon Falls and other regional high schools saw a similar slight increase for graduating students in total. However, lack of data makes comparing ethnic, racial and other student groups impossible.

Minnesota high school seniors reached a historic graduation rate of 83.8%, which continues the increasing trend of students graduating within four years and on time, according to the MDE.

Most racial and ethnic student groups saw a slight increase, however the graduation rate of  Black students decreased from 2019 to 2020.

Statewide rates

The MDE released the statistics below to compare many ethnic, racial and learning groups’ graduation rates from 2019 to 2020.

Four-Year graduation rates

  • All students -- 2019 graduation rate is 83.7% versus 2020 at 83.8%, showing a 0.1% point increase.

  • American Indian/Alaskan Native students -- 2019 graduation rate is 50.8% versus 2020 at 55.7%, showing a 4.9% point increase.

  • Asian students -- 2019 graduation rate is 87.6% versus 2020 at 89.1%, showing a 1.5% point increase.

  • Black students -- 2019 graduation rate is 69.9% versus 2020 at 69.2%, showing a 0.7% point decrease.

  • Hispanic students -- 2019 graduation rate is 69.9% versus 2020 at 70.4%, showing a 0.5% point increase.

  • White students -- 2019 graduation rate is 88.7% versus 2020 at 89.0%, showing a 0.3% point increase.

  • Two or more races students -- 2019 graduation rate is 72.3% versus 2020 at 73.5%, showing a 1.2% point increase.

  • Students receiving special education -- 2019 graduation rate is 63% versus 2020 at 65%, showing a 2.0% point increase.

  • English learners -- 2019 graduation rate is 67.2% versus 2020 at 66.2%, showing a 1.0% point decrease.

  • Students eligible for free/reduced meal price -- 2019 graduation rate is 71% versus 2020 at 71.6%, showing a 0.6% point increase.

Local rates

From 2019 to 2020, Cannon Falls High School saw a 0.25% point increase in graduation rates with 93.3% in 2019 and 93.55% in 2020. White students saw a point increase of 0.61% with 92.9% in 2019 and 93.51% in 2020. 

Most, if not all, of the other ethnic, racial and learning groups the MDE looked at were unable to be compared at all local schools such as Cannon Falls.

“We aren't able to report on other demographics because those populations are so small that those students could be identified if the information was released,” Steven Strauss, K-12 associate principal, said.

Cannon Falls has traditionally been a rural district with the vast majority of students being white, Strauss said. 

“We value diversity a lot and try to make Cannon Falls a safe, welcoming, and comfortable place for students and staff alike,” Strauss said. “Our hope is that all students and staff, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. feel welcome in our buildings.”

District leaders recently started an American Indian Parent Advisory Committee to follow state requirements for having 20 or more students of American Indian background within the district.

“The AIPAC has helped advance the efforts of American Indian students,” Strauss said. “We are in the process of combining with Red Wing on a program called Achievement and Integration. This plan will help all students in the district, with the goal of helping some of those traditionally underserved groups like American Indian students, Black students, and students who are eligible for free and reduced priced lunches.”

Strauss said that he believes the Cannon Falls School District has an array of options to offer to make all students of different backgrounds want to attend school there. 

Other southeast schools

Similar to Cannon Falls, a lot of southeast Minnesota schools were unable to provide graduation rates for different student demographics to the state because the populations were too small.

All statistics were found using the Minnesota Report Card and the Wisconsin Information System for Education.

Goodhue High School

  • All students -- 2019 graduation rate is 98.2% versus 2020 at 97.4%.

  • White students -- 2019 graduation rate is 100.0% versus 2020 at 97.4%.

  • Students eligible for free/reduced meal prices -- 2019 graduation rate is 91.7% versus unknown for 2020.

  • Too small to count for both years -- American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian, Two or more races, Black, Hispanic, English learners students and students receiving special education.

Kenyon-Wanamingo High School

  • All students -- 2019 graduation rate is 93.7% versus 2020 at 91.3%.

  • White students -- 2019 graduation rate is 94.6% versus 2020 at 91.7%.

  • Students eligible for free/reduced meal prices -- 2019 graduation rate is 87.0% versus 2020 at 79.2%.

  • Students receiving special education -- 2019 graduation rate is unknown versus 66.7% for 2020.

  • Too small to count for both years -- American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian, Two or more races, Black, Hispanic and English learner students.

Lincoln Senior High School

  • All Lake City students --  2019 graduation rate is 97.2% versus 2020 at 94.5%.

  • Hispanic students -- 2019 graduation rate is 84.6% versus 2020 at 90.9%.

  • White students -- 2019 graduation rate is 98.4% versus 2020 at 96.3%.

  • Students receiving special education -- 2019 graduation rate is 90.9% versus 2020 at 76.2%.

  • Too small to count for both years -- American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian, Two or more races, Black students and students eligible for free/reduced meal prices.

  • Unknown for both years -- English learners.

Pine Island High School

  • All students -- 2019 graduation rate is 94.9% versus 2020 at 96.3%.

  • White students -- 2019 graduation rate is 94.7% versus 2020 at 96.1%.

  • Students receiving special education -- 2019 graduation rate is 80.0% versus unknown for 2020.

  • Students eligible for free/reduced meal prices -- 2019 graduation rate is 83.3% versus 2020 at 94.1%.

  • Too small to count for both years -- American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian, Two or more races, Black, Hispanic and English learner students.

Red Wing High School

  • All students -- 2019 graduation rate is 93.2% versus 2020 at 93.3%.

  • Hispanic students -- 2019 graduation rate is 92.3% versus 2020 at 85.7%.

  • White students -- 2019 graduation rate is 94.5% versus 2020 at 92.9%.

  • Students receiving special education -- 2019 graduation rate is 66.7% versus 2020 at 68.8%.

  • Students eligible for free/reduced meal prices -- 2019 graduation rate is 84.1% versus 2020 at 88.9%.

  • Too small to count for both years -- American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian, Two or more races students.

  • Unknown for both years -- Black and English learner students.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa Senior High School

  • All students -- 2019 graduation rate is 96.3% versus 2020 at 93.2%.

  • White -- 2019 graduation rate is 98.7% versus 2020 at 93.1%.

  • Too small to count for both years --  American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian, Two or more races, Black and Hispanic students.

  • Unknown for both years -- English learners, students receiving special education and students eligible for free/reduced meal prices.

Ellsworth High School

Ellsworth, while in Wisconsin, is similar in makeup to small districts in Minnesota.

  • All students -- 2019 graduation rate is 98.2% versus 2020 at 96.7%.

  • White students -- 2019 graduation rate is 98.1% versus 2020 at 97.3%.

  • Too small to count for both years -- American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian, Two or more races, Black, Hispanic, English learners students, students receiving special education and students eligible for free/reduced meal prices.

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