Pinellas' black male graduation rate among worst in Florida
Here’s something to chew on in advance of Thursday’s community discussion about the black male graduation rate in Pinellas County: Pinellas’ black male grad rate is among the lowest in Florida, and the lowest of any large Florida district except for Duval, according to state figures.
The community discussion, organized by the NAACP, was prompted by a recent national report that found the district’s black male grad rate is the lowest of any big district in the country. District officials dispute that report -- which put Pinellas’ black male grad rate at 21 percent in 2008 -- but a look at a different grad-rate calculation still raises questions.
Pinellas’ state-computed rate for black males was 53.4 percent in 2008-09 (the 2009-10 figures have not been released by the state yet), according to the Florida Department of Education (and according to a calculation that comports to National Governors Association guidelines). That's lower than the state average of 59.4 percent, lower than the 70.7 percent rate in neighboring Hillsborough and lower than 58 of Florida’s 67 school districts.
|Grad rates, 2008-09*||Overall||African American||AA males||AA females|
|* NGA rate|
|State of Florida||76.3||64.9||59.4||70.3|
So, a question for Thursday: Why are the numbers worse in Pinellas? Are the demographics of the black community here more stark? Is it somehow a statistical anomaly? Or is something else in the mix?