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Economic advantage remains a factor in Florida student achievement

Graduation disparity among disadvantaged students narrows over 5-year span

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A recent update to the Florida Department of Education’s website expands the publically accessible performance data on the state, district and school levels.

The 2019-2020 academic year was upended by the global COVID-19 pandemic, halting Florida state assessments and the data they provide. However, the information from the prior five years showed progress in narrowing the graduation disparity between students identified as “economically disadvantaged” and those without such a challenge.

State gap trend of economically disadvantaged and non-economically disadvantaged students
State gap trend of economically disadvantaged and non-economically disadvantaged students (Florida Department of Education)

Between 2015 and 2018, the percentage point gap for graduation rates shrank from 15.3 to 8.8. That trend is reflected in the numbers for many northeast Florida school districts.

The number of students considered by the FDOE to be “economically disadvantaged” is vastly different depending on the school district. For instance, in northeast Florida, about 67% of Duval County students, 48% of Clay County students and 21% of St. Johns County students are considered to have that disadvantage.

Much more information about school performance in Florida is available and the recently renovated data portal on the Florida Department of Education’s website.


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