Between 2010 and 2016, Alaska’s graduation rate grew faster than the national average, increasing 8 percentage points, among the top 10 rate increases in the country. All demographic groups improved, with Native, low-income, and rural student rates growing the most. These are some of the trends described in a new Research Summary, “Alaska High School Graduation Rate Trends,” by Trang Tran, ISER Research Professional, and Alexandra Hill, Associate Director of ISER.

students wearing mortarboards at graduationIn addition to the graduation rate increase, the gap between high and low achieving groups decreased significantly. Still, Alaska’s graduation rate remained well below the national average in 2016. And, due to Alaska’s shrinking student population, the total number of graduates decreased.

While the new Research Summary provides a descriptive analysis of graduation rate trends, it does not determine causes. The authors encourage further research to build a more comprehensive understanding of Alaska students, their demographic differences, unique needs, and the strategies and interventions that support their success.