Breaking down Idaho’s ‘go-on rates:’ some local numbers

Here’s another cut at the 2020 go-on rates — a look at district- and school-level data.

As Idaho Education News first reported earlier this month, only 38 percent of Idaho’s high school graduates continued their education last fall. That translates into a 7 percentage point drop in the state’s “immediate,” spring-to-fall go-on rate, and pencils out to a difference of about 1,400 students.

Last week, Idaho Education News reported that the go-on rates dropped across every demographic group.

While these go-on numbers revealed some sharp decreases — a possible outgrowth from the coronavirus pandemic — the district- and school-level data isn’t quite as surprising. These numbers follow some trends that have played out in past years.

Top performers

The Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, a perennial top performer, had the highest go-on rate for any high school with 25 graduates or more.

Here’s the top five (with district, where applicable): Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, 80.9 percent; Genesee School (Genesee School District), 78.6 percent; Meridian Medical Arts Charter School, 74.3 percent; Liberty Charter School, Nampa, 66.7 percent; Renaissance High School (West Ada School District), 61.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the state’s top performing district was northcentral Idaho’s Cottonwood School District.

The top five districts and charters: Cottonwood, 86.4 percent; Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, 80.9 percent; Genesee, 78.6 percent; North Star Charter School, Eagle, 77.3 percent; Cambridge, 71.4 percent.

The numbers for the tiny Cambridge district point up a reporting anomaly. Cambridge had only seven graduates in 2020 — and normally, the state does not release data for groups of fewer than 10 students. Idaho Education News appealed this policy and the state now releases graduation and go-on rates for all high schools and charters, regardless of size.

Low go-on rates

Again in 2020, alternative high schools and virtual charters account for the state’s lowest go-on rates. This year the state had 24 high schools with a 0 percent go-on rate.

But two large eastern Idaho districts had go-on rates well below the statewide average: Jefferson (24.4 percent) and Madison (20.7 percent). These numbers aren’t a new development either. Eastern Idaho’s immediate go-on rates usually lag behind the statewide numbers, since a large number of graduates go from high school to a mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Idaho’s large high schools

Here’s the breakdown for every high school with 250 graduates or more.

  • Timberline High School (Boise School District): 60.6 percent.
  • Coeur d’Alene High School (Coeur d’Alene School District): 58.8 percent.
  • Boise High School (Boise): 54.6 percent.
  • Lake City High School (Coeur d’Alene): 53.2 percent.
  • Eagle High School (West Ada): 51.5 percent.
  • Capital High School (Boise): 51.3 percent.
  • Borah High School (Boise): 49.5 percent.
  • Lewiston High School (Lewiston School District): 48.1 percent.
  • Century High School (Pocatello-Chubbuck School District): 47.9 percent.
  • Rocky Mountain High School (West Ada): 47.9 percent.
  • Centennial High School (West Ada): 45.6 percent.
  • Mountain View High School (West Ada): 45.4 percent.
  • Highland High School (Pocatello-Chubbuck): 44.4 percent.
  • Skyline Senior High School (Idaho Falls School District): 42.1 percent.
  • Idaho Falls Senior High School (Idaho Falls): 40.9 percent.
  • Meridian High School (West Ada): 40.5 percent.
  • Skyview High School (Nampa School District): 38.2 percent.
  • Post Falls High School (Post Falls School District): 36.6 percent.
  • Thunder Ridge High School (Bonneville School District): 36 percent.
  • Caldwell Senior High School (Caldwell School District): 33.9 percent.
  • Nampa High School (Nampa): 33 percent.
  • Ridgevue High School (Nampa): 30.2 percent.
  • Kuna High School (Kuna School District): 28.8 percent.
  • Rigby High School (Jefferson): 26.2 percent.
  • Madison Senior High School (Madison): 23.1 percent.

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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