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Politics

Florida's Graduation Rate Soars

January 5, 2016 - 12:00pm

Florida’s high school graduation rate continued on a steady climb to almost 78 percent in 2015. 

The graduation rate -- 77.8 percent -- was a slight increase from around 76 percent last year. 

Asian students had the highest graduation rates in Florida with nearly 91 percent graduating in 2015. White students and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students trailed slightly behind with a little under 83 percent graduating in 2015. 

Florida’s African American students continued to see slight improvements in their graduation rates, with nearly 68 percent graduating in 2015 -- a climb of over three percentage points since last year. 

Florida has consistently seen improvements in its graduation rate after years of falling at the back of the pack in national education.

The graduation rate has increased in part due to an overhaul of the state’s education system implemented by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

When Bush was governor, he spearheaded widespread education reforms, modernizing a suffering education system by focusing on holding schools accountable and raising education standards. Schools began receiving A-F grades based on standardized test scores, a system which many other states began to implement shortly thereafter. 

Florida’s Hispanic graduation rate has been a specific point of pride for the state, with Hispanics’ graduation rates soaring in recent years.

Hispanic graduation rates continued to improve for the class of 2015, rising to nearly 77 percent -- a climb of over seven points since the 2010-2011 school year. 

Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said Tuesday’s news was strong indicator Florida’s public education system is working. 

“More students are achieving success by earning a diploma, which will enable them to pursue higher education and meaningful careers,” she said. 

Gov. Rick Scott applauded the news, saying it was good news for the future of Florida’s economy. 

“In order to diversify our economy and make Florida first for job growth, we must have a well-educated workforce that is ready to fill jobs in the global market,” Scott explained. “I am proud Florida’s graduation rate has continued to soar and we will keep working to make Florida the best state in the nation to get a great education and a great job.”
 

 

 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.

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