Graduation rates up at Florida, area high schools

Clay, St. Johns counties rates near 91%; Duval County rate up 2%

By Eric Wallace - Senior Producer, I-TEAM, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida’s high school graduation rate has reached a 14-year high, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.

For the 2016-17 school year, Florida’s statewide graduation rate rose to 82.3 percent, an increase of 23.1 percentage points since 2003-04, and 1.6 percentage points over last year.

TABLE: Gradation rate at area school districts for last 5 years

Overall, Northeast Florida schools' graduation rate is also on the increase, although the highest-rated districts actually slipped backward.

St. Johns and Nassau counties, which both had graduation rates above 91 percent in 2015-16, went down about a half point in 2016-17, but remain above the highest in the state.

Clay County's rate went up to 88.4 percent last year.

Duval County's rate rose from 78.8 percent to 80.8 percent, making it the largest improvement among Florida's seven largest school districts and the highest in the county's history.

Three of Jacksonville's traditional high schools achieved a graduation rate increase of more than 4 percentage points: Andrew Jackson (+4.9 percent), Sandalwood (+6.9 percent) and Ed White (+4.3 percent). William M. Raines, a turnaround high school, maintained a graduation rate of over 90 percent for the second year in a row.

“The record high numbers seen today are an illustration of the incredible commitment to our students by our teachers and school leaders, in ensuring every child is able to graduate from our district,” Duval County Superintendent Patricia Willis said. "The rise of these indicators are the result of the hard work and dedication of our students, as well as our ability to create exceptional systems which allows us to monitor each individual student."

Alachua County's 82.7 percent rate slightly exceeds the state average. Baker, Flagler and Union counties are at 81 percent. Bradford County came in at 78.9 percent, Putnam at 72.2 percent and Columbia's graduation rate was 70.7 percent.

Putnam County noted that their 2016-17 rate was up 8.6 percent over the previous year and surpassed the district's goal of reaching 80 percent by 2020

DOCUMENT: Graduation rate of all N.E. Florida high schools

“I look forward to working with the Legislature during the upcoming session to make sure our students have the resources they need to continue to build on this accomplishment for years to come," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement.

“I am thrilled to celebrate our state’s students and educators on this monumental accomplishment," Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said. "Excelling in high school opens doors to opportunities that provide students long-term benefits, and Florida’s steady increase is promising for our state’s and students’ futures.”

District

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

FLORIDA

75.60%

76.10%

77.90%

80.70%

82.30%

Alachua

72.60%

72.20%

74.30%

78.40%

82.70%

Baker

72.10%

75.20%

81.80%

79.40%

81.00%

Bradford

67.50%

71.30%

76.90%

83.70%

78.90%

Clay

77.90%

80.10%

83.70%

84.70%

88.40%

Columbia

65.70%

61.00%

71.00%

75.00%

70.70%

Duval

72.10%

74.00%

76.60%

78.80%

80.80%

Flagler

76.90%

77.80%

77.50%

80.40%

81.10%

Nassau

90.90%

89.90%

90.90%

91.40%

90.90%

Putnam

58.20%

58.20%

54.90%

63.60%

72.20%

St. Johns

86.70%

87.80%

90.50%

91.20%

90.90%

Union

79.00%

82.80%

77.70%

72.40%

81.00%

 

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