Florida's high school graduation rate rises again in 2017, state says

Friday, 12 Jan, 2018

Statewide, Asian students had the highest graduation rate of any student group at 93.2 percent, followed by whites at 86.2 percent, Hispanics at 81.3 percent and black students at 74.8 percent.

School districts in Southwest Florida, as with the state, saw increases in their high school graduation rates for the 2016-17 school year, according to data released on Wednesday by the Florida Department of Education.

The state-wide graduation rate for the 2016/17 school year was 82.3 percent.

Graduation rates in Manatee County have steadily been on the rise, and for the second straight year, the number is above 80 percent. "It's an incremental gain, but it's a hard-earned gain".

Collier County Public Schools saw their graduation rate increase by 1.5 percent over the 2015-16 school year, going from 86.7 percent to 88.2 percent. Sarasota County has received an A grade from the state every year since 1999, when the grading system began. The Federal Uniform Graduation rate is now used in Florida's school accountability system in the high school grades calculation. In Lake, the rate fell slightly from 78.1 percent to 77. Lakewood Ranch had the highest graduation rate in the district, with 92 percent of its seniors graduating.

Manatee Superintendent Diana Greene pointed to the long-term double-digit increase, despite this year's decrease. Scott said the state's numbers have been trending upward since 2003-04, when only 59.2 percent of students graduated. Federal regulations require each state to calculate a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, which includes standard diplomas but excludes general equivalency diplomas, known as GEDs, both regular and adult; and special diplomas. Manatee has incorporated several new tracks to graduation for students who struggle in a traditional setting. "We are deeply committed to making sure our students have the skills and attributes they need to pursue their dreams".