Mississippi’s graduation rate marks all-time high; dropout rate falls

Published 12:12 pm Thursday, January 18, 2024

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) recently released the 2022-23 school year graduation and dropout rates, showing an all-time high 89.4 percent graduation rate and a decreased 8.5 percent dropout rate.

Rates are based on students who entered ninth grade for the first time during the 2019-20 school year. Among students with disabilities, the graduation rate increased to 70 percent, and the dropout rate decreased to 17.7 percent.

MDE’s latest figures mark a continuing impressive trend for Mississippi’s public school students. The statewide graduation rate was 74.5 percent in 2013 and has increased annually. The rate does not include students who earned a GED or a certificate of completion.

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Pandemic disruptions affected the graduation rate in recent years. Due to COVID-19, passing requirements were waived for high school end-of-year assessments in Algebra I, English II, Biology and U.S. History in 2020-21. The waivers have had a positive impact on the graduation rate, but that impact should diminish for the 2023-24 school year.

Mississippi’s graduation rate exceeds the latest U.S. rate of 86.5 percent from 2019-20 reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The statewide dropout has decreased from 13.9 percent in 2013. The current dropout rate figures reflect a .5 percent decrease from 2021-22 and a 1.6 percent decrease among students with disabilities.

“The hard work of students, parents, teachers, counselors and administrators across Mississippi continues to produce outstanding outcomes,” said Dr. Raymond Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education. “The MDE is proud of our students’ continued achievements and remains committed to ensuring all students graduate ready for college and career success.”

View the 2023 Graduation Rate Report at mdek12.org/OPR/Reporting/Accountability/2024.