Minnesota’s Talent Pipeline Part 1: High School Education
Across Minnesota, there are about 268,000 students enrolled in high school. This number includes Freshmen through Seniors, and anyone staying in school beyond the typical four years to complete high school. Each year, about 54,000 students graduate from high school on time (meaning, within four years or less), a number that has been increasing steadily in recent years. Of these high school graduates annually, about 52% or 28,000 graduates enroll in Minnesota colleges and universities, 13,000 go directly into the workforce, and 11,000 move to other states to continue their education.
However, about 8,000 students do not graduate on time, taking further time to complete their studies, or later become part of the 3,000 students who drop out annually. Failure to graduate on time has major implications for an individual’s ability to develop their career and lifelong earning potential. Statewide there are gaps in graduating across race and income.
Similar to graduation rates, there are also stark disparities in dropout rates by race and ethnicity, with students identifying as American Indian having the highest High School dropout rate of any group at 19%, followed by Latinx at 10% and Black at 7%–all compared to Asian and White Students who currently have dropout rates as low as 3%. These rates by race, ethnicity, and income have improved slightly over the past five to ten years. Still, the volume of students dropping out or continuing beyond four years has remained relatively consistent.
Other significant secondary education leakages in the talent pipeline are around critical educational attainment benchmarks, specifically, the disparities in reading and math attainments.
Generation Next, an organization dedicated to closing achievement and opportunity gaps in the Twin Cities, builds the case that 8th-grade math is a “gatekeeper subject” that is correlated with higher high school persistence, academic achievement, college attainment, and general preparedness for the workforce. As an average of 2015-2019 reporting years in the Minnesota Report Card, the 8th-grade proficiency rate in math for students of color is just 50%, and for White students, it is 64%. Overall, student math proficiency rates have decreased two percentage points over the past five years. Declines in student math proficiency rates across all student demographic groups highlight clear opportunities to improve learning outcomes.
Our Work at the High School Level
Minnesota’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs prepare students for the transition from high school to postsecondary education and careers by incorporating academic, technical, and occupational knowledge and skills into high schools and college programs. According to the Minnesota Department of Education, the high school graduation rate for Minnesota students who enroll in two or more CTE courses is 92 percent. The new federal CTE law, known as Perkins V, provides CTE consortia with the opportunity to identify disparities and performance gaps, engage with all communities to improve programs, and innovate program implementation for young people, especially from historically underserved groups.
RealTime Talent supported four Minnesota CTE consortia Perkins V Community and Local Needs Assessments in 2019 and early 2020, evaluating educational program alignment using current labor market information and recommending career pathway approaches that expand access to high skill, high wage, and in-demand careers. Highlights of this work and samples of other career pathway analysis provided over the years can be found on our CTE Pathways page.
SOURCES: 1) Median (2015 -2019),MDE Analytics, State/District/School/County Enrollment, https://public.education.mn.gov/MDEAnalytics/DataTopic.jsp?TOPICID=2; 2) Median (2014-2018), MDE, 4-Year Graduation Rate, 2014-2018; 3) Median (2013-2017); MN SLEDS, Statewide, Graduates Working, 2013-2017; 4) MN SLEDS, Statewide, College Enrollment 2013-2017, http://sleds.mn.gov/#collegeActivity/orgId–999999000__groupType–state__ECODEVREGION–FOC_NONE__collegeActivityCOHORTID–2018__p–3; 5 & 6) Median (2014-2018)MDE 4-Year Graduation Rate; 7) Minnesota Office of Higher Education, student enrollment database. Not award-seeking and unavailable program type not shown in this graphic (85,363 additional enrolled); 8) Median (2015-2017) U.S. Department of Education, IPEDS Completion Survey via MN Office of Higher Education, Degrees Awarded in Minnesota, and data found at https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=2119; 9) Median (2016 & 2017)MN Office of Higher Education, Student Enrollment Data 2016 & 2017; 10) Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Educating for the Future, 2019 Update, https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/pdf/EducatingfortheFuture2019_final.pdf; 11) Median (2013-2017) MN SLEDS, Statewide, College Enrollment 2013-2017; 12) Minnesota Office of Higher Education & National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Reaching 70 Percent Attainment Goal, 2020, Minnesota Office of Higher Education & National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Reaching 70 Percent Attainment Goal, 2020 13) Median (2013-2017) MN SLEDS, Statewide students not tracked in-state, 2012-2016; 14) Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Educating for the Future, 2019 Update, https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/pdf/EducatingfortheFuture2019_final.pdf; 15) Ages18-64, 2014-2018, ACS 5-year Sample, Employment Sample, IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org; 16&17) 2014-2018 ACS 5-yr Estimates, Migration Status, IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org.; 18) Ages 25-64, 2014-2018, ACS 5-year Sample, Employment Sample, IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org; 19) 25) AGES 18-64, 2014-2018, ACS 5-year Sample, Employment Status, IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org; 20) OASDI Beneficiaries by State and Zip Code (2011-2018, Median)