Minnesota Schools: Worst in Nation for Children of Color

Minnesota’s students of color are being shortchanged by our schools. Federal data released in January showed that Minnesota’s high school graduation rates for students of color are the worst in the nation.

Minnesota’s 2016-17 graduation rates for African American and Hispanic students placed us 50th among the 50 states. Our graduation rates for Native American students ranked 49th out of 50.

Despite our tradition of pride in our public education system, we’re failing our students. The data shows that:

  • The national graduation rate for black students was 77.8 percent. However, Minnesota’s graduation rate was 64.8 percent, which placed us behind every other state in the U.S.

  • For American Indian students, only 51 percent of Minnesotans graduated on time compared to the national average of 72.4 percent.

  • There’s a similar gap for Hispanic students in Minnesota with just 66.3 percent graduating on time compared to 80 percent nationally. Minnesota is one of only two states that graduated less than 70 percent of Hispanic students on time.

Our nation and state are changing rapidly and Minnesota schools are not ensuring our high school students are prepared to succeed. The status quo can’t continue.