Florida schools graduation rate hits record-high after standardized tests waived

In 2020, students could earn diplomas without having passed the state’s algebra and language arts standardized tests

Florida's high school graduation rate is at an all-time high. New numbers show-- the state's graduation rate jumped more than three percent from the class of 2019 to the class of 2020. News4jax reporter Ashley Harding is live.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s high school graduation rate hit a record-high of 90% in 2020.

The Florida Department of Education said the graduation high is in part due to adjustments made during the coronavirus pandemic. The state waived the 2019-20 graduating class from passing statewide, standardized tests in algebra and language arts.

The St. Johns County School District had the highest graduation rate in the region at 94.9.% and posted the third-best mark of public schools in the state. Duval (90.2%), Clay (93.7%), and Putnam (90.1%), county school districts posted rates above the state average.

In Duval, the rate increased by 3.7% than the previous year. Duval district administrators said the increase is worth celebrating.

“Point by point, our graduation rate has been steadily increasing every year since 2012. There’s no doubt that the work put in – from our pre-kindergarten teachers all the way to our senior graduation coaches – had a significant impact on our historically-high rate. The waived assessments propelled us in a direction we were already heading,” Duval County Schools Superintendent wrote in a statement.

The Nassau County School District (91.6%) noted a 1.2% drop in the graduation rate since 2017-18 but still finished above the state’s average. The Union (79.6%) and Baker (84.5%) school districts were below average.

The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine is on a sky-rocket trend. In 2015-16, only 47.1% of students graduated. In 2019-20, the school finished above the state average at 90.6%.

See the results including all Florida high schools here.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.