Pandemic Stalls High School Graduation Rates
StudentTracker Helps Schools Follow Their Students’ Progression
The pandemic has had a marked impact on many institutions over the past two years — education is one of them. As Chalkbeat reports: “High school graduation rates dipped in at least 20 states after the first full school year disrupted by the pandemic, suggesting the coronavirus may have ended nearly two decades of nationwide progress toward getting more students diplomas.”
According to Chalkbeat’s analysis of 26 states, graduation rates are the latest concerning trend in American education. Some students are also challenged to maintain their schooling amid the need to help their families economically or by caring for younger siblings displaced from in-person learning during the pandemic. In 2020, many states waived some graduation requirements in acknowledgment of the unprecedented impacts of the pandemic, and graduation rates increased a bit. However, in 2021, Illinois, North Dakota, and Oregon saw declines of two percentage points.
These declines at the high school level are also having an impact on college enrollments. Data from the Research Center’s High School Benchmarks report indicates that fewer Class of 2020 high school gap year students enrolled in college in Fall 2021.
Doug Shapiro, Executive Director of the Research Center, said in a previous blog, “Only 2% of those who did not enroll in college immediately after high school in 2020 showed up as gap year enrollments in fall 2021, strongly suggesting that the pandemic-related concerns that kept many students out of college last year have not abated.”
It’s important for high schools to know the research data for their own graduation rates and student performance. The Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker for High Schools can help with resources including online 24/7 guidance, the Clearinghouse Academy with on-demand courses, and K-12 blog posts to help stay on top of learning and education trends.
“Only 2% of those who did not enroll in college immediately after high school in 2020 showed up as gap year enrollments in fall 2021, strongly suggesting that the pandemic-related concerns that kept many students out of college last year have not abated.”
Executive Director, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center