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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Report: Florida has fewer "dropout factories"



Florida made modest gains in its graduation rate between 2002 and 2008, and over that span its number of “dropout factories” – high schools that fail to graduate at least 60 percent of its students – fell from 162 to 147, according to a national report released this morning.

Florida was among 17 states that showed “some progress” in improving rates, which rose from 63.4 to 66.9 percent over that period, says the report, sponsored by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and John Hopkins University’s Everyone Graduates Center.

Two states showed big gains - Tennessee (59.6 to 74.9 percent) and New York (60.5 to 70.88 percent) – while 10 states showed “moderate progress” with gains between 4.3 and 7.3 percentage points (Vermont, Alabama, Oregon, Missouri, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia).

The report’s numbers are at odds with Florida’s own grad rate calculations, which were at 73.1 percent in 2008 (and at 79.0 percent in 2010, according to numbers released just last week).

The researchers behind the APA report based their estimates on U.S. Department of Education data.

According to the report’s figures, Florida ranked 44th in graduation rates in 2002, and even though it improved, fell to 45th in 2008.

Nationwide, the number of dropout factories fell from 2,007 in 2002 to 1,746 to 2008.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 9:45am]


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