Florida Continues to Close the Achievement Gap as Graduation Rates Jump to 13-year High


December 16, 2016

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Florida Continues to Close the Achievement Gap as Graduation Rates Jump to 13-year High
~ Statewide rate increased by 2.8 percentage points since last year ~

Tallahassee, Fla., December 16, 2016 – Once again, Florida’s high school graduation rate has risen, according to data released today by the Florida Department of Education. For 2015-16, Florida’s statewide graduation rate climbed to 80.7 percent, an increase of 21.5 percentage points since 2003-04 and 2.8 percentage points over last year. 

Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said, “Today’s news is cause for celebration! I am proud of Florida’s students for their outstanding achievement, even as the bar has been steadily raised. These results are a testament to their hard work and the benefit of Florida’s accountability system, which hinges on transparency and rewards progress every step of the way.”

Florida’s Graduation Rates, 2003-04 through 2015-16

Bullet points below explain the graph.

 

In recent years, Florida’s education leaders have focused their efforts on ensuring all students have the resources necessary to succeed, and the newly released data demonstrates that the attention to the performance of individual subgroups has had a significantly positive effect. Since the 2011-2012, Florida has seen a significant uptick in the graduation rates for all reported race/ethnicity groups.

The subgroups with the highest percentage point increase in that time are as follows:

  • The statewide graduation rate among all students increased by 6.2 percentage points over the last five years, rising from 74.5 percent in 2011-12 to 80.7 percent in 2015-16.
  • The statewide graduation rate among African American students increased by 8.6 percentage points over the last five years, rising from 63.7 percent in 2011-12 to 72.3 percent in 2015-16.
  • The statewide graduation rate among Hispanic students increased by 6.5 percentage points over the last five years, rising from 73.0 percent in 2011-12 to 79.5 percent in 2015-16.
  • The statewide graduation rate among students with disabilities increased by 13.8 percentage points, rising from 47.8 percent in 2011-12 to 61.6 percent in 2015-16.
  • The statewide graduation rate among economically disadvantaged students increased by 9.3 percentage points, rising from 65.1 percent in 2011-12 to 74.4 percent in 2015-16.


About Florida’s Graduation Rates, 2003-04 through 2015-16

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.

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. Florida’s graduation rate has risen by 6.2 percentage points since 2011-12 and 21.5 percentage points since 2003-04.

Florida’s graduation rate is 80.7 percent, but that does not mean that 19.3 percent of students in the cohort are dropouts. Nongraduates include students who have been retained and are still in school, received certificates of completion or received GED-based diplomas. In Florida’s 2015-16 cohort, 3.8 percent of the students dropped out and 15.5 percent are still enrolled in school, earned a certificate of completion, special diploma or GED-based diploma.

For more information about the 2015-16 graduation rates, visit Graduation Rates.

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