Idaho high school graduation rate increases slightly, but lags far behind state goal

Last spring, 81% of Idaho’s high school students graduated on time — a slight increase from 2022

All told, nearly 21,000 students graduated in four years, and about 4,800 did not. 

Still, 2023’s four-year graduation rate remains far short of the state goal: that nearly 95% of students earn a high school diploma on time. It also holds with a familiar pattern — four-year graduation rates have hovered between about 80% and 82% since 2016. 

Four-year graduation rates 

Class Four-year grad rate State four-year grad rate goal
2023 81.1% 94.9%
2022 79.9% 94.9%
2021 80.1% 92.4%
2020 82.1% 89.9%
2019 80.7% 87.3%
2018 80.6% 84.8%
2017 79.7% 82.2%
2016 79.7% Baseline year
2015 78.9% Not available

The Idaho Department of Education’s recently-released data also shows that:

  • At-risk student populations had lower graduation rates than their peers
  • More than 50 districts and local education agencies had fewer than 81% of students graduate on time
  • More than 100 traditional schools and charters had fewer than 81% of students graduate on time

Nationally, Idaho has one of the lowest four-year graduation rates. In 2022, it was ranked 47th, outpacing only Alaska, Arizona, and New Mexico, according to an EdNews compilation of data from state departments of education. Nationwide rankings from 2023 are not yet available. 

Read on for a closer look at the districts and charters with the highest and lowest graduation rates, and to see which student populations did not graduate on pace with peers. 

Highest and lowest graduation rates, by districts and charters

The charts below show the districts and local education agencies with the state’s highest and lowest graduation rates. As you look at the data, keep in mind that cohort sizes are not accounted for (some districts have small student populations, so their data skews easily). 

For a complete dataset, go here

Traditional and non-traditional (charter) districts with the highest four-year graduation rates

Traditional district Four-year graduation rate Nontraditional local education agency Four-year graduation rate
Grace 100 White Pine Charter 100
Clark County 100 North Idaho STEM CHarter Academy 100
Kootenai 100 Gem Prep: Pocatello 100
South Lemhi 100 Gem Prep: Meridian 100
Mullan 100 Gem Prep: Nampa 100
Castleford 100 Victory Charter 96.8
Murtaugh 100 Coeur d’Alene Charter 96.5
Notus 96.8 Liberty Charter 96.4
Bruneau-Grand View 95.7 Vision Charter 95.8
Rockland 95 Taylor’s Crossing Public Charter 93.8
Parma 94.9 American Heritage Charter 93.8

Traditional and nontraditional (charter) districts with lowest four-year graduation rates

Traditional district Four-year graduation rate Nontraditional local education agency Four-year graduation rate
Plummer-Worley 50 Elevate Academy Nampa 0
Cascade 50.3 Alturas Preparatory Academy 0
Cambridge 60 Carinal Academy Incorporated 13.3
Caldwell 63.2 Pathways in Education — Nampa 16.2
Mountain View 65.4 Idaho Virtual Education Partners 25
West Bonner County 66.2 Kootenai Bridge Academy 46.7
Highland 66.7 iSucceed Virtual High 47.9
Midvale 69.2 Idaho Virtual High 51
Jerome 69.6 North Valley Academy 57.1
Challis 69.6 Elevate Academy 58.1

Large traditional districts, ranked

This table ranks the state’s ten largest districts from highest four-year graduation rate to lowest. 

District Four-year graduation rate
Bonneville 90.8
Pocatello 90
Oneida 89.2
Coeur d’Alene 88.7
West Ada 86.7
Boise 83.4
Vallivue 82.1
Idaho Falls 75.6
Nampa 75.5
Twin Falls 72.3

At-risk student groups are less likely to graduate on time, data shows

Students in foster care, with disabilities, or who are homeless were least likely to graduate on time in 2023, according to the IDE data.

Those student groups were among others (listed below) with four-year graduation rates lower than the state average. 

For some student groups, the State Board of Education sets different four-year graduation goals than it does for the general population. In each of those cases below, the student groups were far from achieving the target rate. 

Student group Four-year graduation rate State goal for four-year graduation rate
Students in foster care 41.6% NA
Students with disabilities 55.5% 90.1%
Students who are homeless 59.3% NA
English learners 66.6% 93.3%
Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander 69.2% 92.4%
American Indian or Alaskan Native 69.6% 89.6%
Migratory students 70.2% NA
Economically disadvantaged 70.8% 93%
Black/African American 72% 94.5%
Hispanic or Latino 73.5% 93.4%
Two or more races 76.7% 94.3%
Male 78.6% NA

Idaho Education News data analyst Randy Schrader contributed to this report.

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro reports from her hometown of Pocatello. Prior to joining EdNews, she taught English at Century High and was a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She has won state and regional journalism awards, and her work has appeared in newspapers throughout the West. Flandro has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and Spanish from the University of Montana, and a master’s degree in English from Idaho State University. You can email her at [email protected] or call or text her at (208) 317-4287.

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