Canby ranks among Minnesota's top 10% of high schools in major study

Congratulations to Canby High School - faculty, students and families. That's one of my conclusions from a study recently completed by our Center at the University of Minnesota. Canby High School ranks in the top 10% of all Minnesota public high schools when it comes to preparing students for public colleges and universities. In this key area, Canby has a better record that any metro area high school - urban or suburban. 

Here's what we found. A study by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State University and College System looked at what percentage of Minnesota public high school graduates entered a Minnesota public college or university in the years 2000-2003. The research also looked at what percentage of the graduates entering a Minnesota public college or university took one or more remedial courses in reading, math or writing. 

Statewide, 49% of Minnesota public high school students entered one of Minnesota's public colleges or universities. And 36% of those students took one or more remedial courses - that's thousands of students. 

Canby's record was FAR better. First, 62.5% of your 2000-2003 graduates entered a Minnesota public college or university. But of those graduates, only 15% took a remedial course - less than half the statewide average. 

When a Center for School Change staff member visited Canby this year, we heard widespread praise for the high expectations in the school, for the encouraging, supportive faculty, and for many families and community members who worked closely with the school and students. We'll be writing more about this in Journal of Rural Affairs, which comes out in November.

Part of our report notes:

Students often find themselves in leadership positions, which the staff feels builds character and reinforces many core values. These leadership roles do come with certain responsibilities, however, and the students are aware that the staff and community have high expectations for them. "The kids here have goals. They know we don't just want them to show up, we want them to do something," says Gary Stoks, a business owner and parent of a former student. As people think about Canby, what has and what is being accomplished, I hope that you give yourselves credit for doing a marvelous job with many young people.


Joe Nathan, Director

Center for School Change

Humphrey Institute

University of Minnesota