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.
Kevin Richert

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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