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Colorado’s high school graduation rates in five graphs

The Colorado Department of Education today released graduation, completion, and dropout rates for the state’s high schools. Overall, the graduation rate, or students who complete high school in four years, is up.

The state’s dropout rate also dipped for the eight consecutive year, albeit by just 0.1 percentage points. That’s about 120 fewer dropouts statewide than in 2013.

You can read more about the trends here. Or you can look at these snazzy charts. A note, this analysis is our first stab

Colorado graduation rate by gender, race

As expected, high school girls graduated at a higher rate than boys, though boys are closing that gap slightly by about 1 percentage point. Meanwhile, white students graduated at a higher rate than either black or Latino students.

The big 15

Changes in graduation rates among the state’s largest 15 school districts were mixed. Aurora Public Schools and Colorado Springs District 11 saw the largest gains with 3 percentage points each. Meanwhile, the Falcon school district saw the largest drop, 24 percentage points.

The big 15’s gaps

Achievement gaps between students of color and their white peers vary among Colorado’s 15 largest school districts. It’s clear that some school districts –Mesa (Grand Junction), Aurora, and Cherry Creek, for example —  do a better job of graduating black students, while school districts like Colorado Springs District 11, Greeley, and Pueblo do a better job of graduating Latino students.

Graduation rates — mostly up — at state’s struggling schools

More students graduated last year from seven of the 10 school districts on the state’s accountability watch list. That’s good news for the students and the school districts that are at risk of losing their accreditation. While the state mostly judges schools on how much students learn year to year, graduation rate is a critical factor. It’s unknown whether the boosts, especially in Sheridan, will be enough to stave off state intervention.

Some poorer districts graduating more students than others

Denver Public Schools has nearly doubled its graduation rate since 2006. But it still has a long way to go to catch up to the state’s average — and to get bragging rights on Colorado districts with similar demographics. Here’s a look at some of the state’s largest and poorest school districts’ graduation rates.