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Florida high school graduation rates improve

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Graduation rates for the class of 2015 resulted in Florida achieving a 12-year high, according to data released Tuesday by the Florida Department of Education.

Florida’s statewide graduation rate climbed to 77.8 percent, an increase of more than 18 percentage points since 2003-04 and 1.7 percentage points over last year. 

The graduation rate measures the percentage of students who graduate within four years of their first enrollment in ninth grade. The rate is calculated for an adjusted cohort of students -- a group of students on the same schedule to graduate -- taking into account those who enter or exit the group.

Every county in northeast Florida showed improved graduation rates. Duval County's rate rose 8.9 percent over the five-year period -- the largest increase of any urban school district in the state. Three high schools in Jacksonville saw a 20 percent or greater: Lee, Raines and Westside. Englewood, First Coast, Mandarin, Peterson Academy Randolph, Sandalwood White and Wolfson all saw five-year increases in the double-digits.

“Our improvement in graduation rate, and namely the narrowing of the achievement gap, illustrates the student-centric systems we have developed and implemented to ensure that all students can leave our district better prepared for life no matter what challenges they face,” said Nikolai Vitti, Duval County superintendent of schools.

Every district in northeast Florida showed graduation increases.

  • Baker County improved their graduation rate to 81.8 percent, a 6.6 percentage point increase over last year and 16.8 percentage points since 2010-11.
  • Bradford County improved their graduation rate to 76.9 percent, a 5.6 percentage point increase over last year and 15.8 percentage points since 2010-11.
  • Clay County improved their graduation rate to 83.7 percent, a 3.6 percentage point increase over last year and 9.3 percentage points since 2010-11.
  • Columbia County improved their graduation rate to 71 percent, a 10 percentage point increase over last year.
  • Duval County improved their graduation rate to 76.6 percent, a 2.6 percentage point increase over last year and 13.3 percentage points since 2010-11.
  • Lafayette County improved their graduation rate to 80.7 percent, a 0.7 percentage point increase over last year and 16.9 percentage points since 2010-11.
  • Nassau County improved their graduation rate to 90.9 percent, a 1 percentage point increase over last year and 11 percentage points since 2010-11, and one of eight districts with a graduation rate over 90 percent.
  • St. Johns County improved their graduation rate to 90.5 percent, a 2.7 percentage point increase over last year and 4.7 percentage points since 2010-11, and one of eight districts with a graduation rate over 90 percent

Florida’s graduation rate has risen by 7.2 percentage points since 2010-11 and 18.6 percentage points since 2003-04.

Statewide, African American students’ graduation rate increased 9.3 percentage points since 2010-11 and 3.2 percentage points since last year. The graduation rate for Hispanic students rose 7.3 percentage points from 2010-11 and 1.7 percentage points over 2013-14.

"This news is further evidence that Florida’s public education system is serving our students well," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart in a statement. "More students are achieving success by earning a diploma, which will enable them to pursue higher education and meaningful careers..."

Florida’s graduation rate only considers standard diploma recipients as graduates in the calculation. Students who earn a special diploma, a GED-based diploma, a certificate of completion, or have been retained and are still in school after four years are counted as non-completers in the calculation.

 


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