Jun 7, 2022 - News

Hispanic students make gains in graduation rates in Colorado

A chart of Colorado's graduation rates

Chart: Cam Rodriguez; Data: Colorado Department of Education

Colorado saw high school graduation rates for Hispanic students rise significantly in the past decade, even as education gaps persist, our reporting partners at Chalkbeat write.

Why it matters: Hispanic students represent more than a third of the state's K-12 students, and high school graduation is the key to higher education, better jobs and sustainable salaries.

What's happening: A confluence of factors helped lead to this achievement.

  • The state began evaluating high schools by graduation rates, a move that pressed the district to deploy targeted solutions using data.
  • An improvement in health and economic factors, combined with a reprieve from fear of deportation and better intervention programs, enhanced school culture.
  • In addition, less stringent graduation requirements and a new grading system that considers all factors of a student's learning took effect in some districts.

By the numbers: This student population's graduation rate increased from 55% in 2010 to 75% in 2020, according to state figures.

  • Over the same period, Hispanic dropout rates fell to 2.8%, down by half.
  • The rate of those needing remedial college classes also dropped.

What they're saying: "Certainly they better have gone up, there was a lot of room to move up," said Jim Chavez, executive director of the Latin American Educational Foundation.

Yes, but: Hispanic students are less likely to go to college than their white peers and still are twice as likely to need remedial classes.

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