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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Tennessee graduation rates climbing the fastest



Tennessee Okay you snobby Gators who want to make fun of "Rocky Top." Get this: A new report out this morning puts the spotlight on Tennessee for its fast-climbing graduation rate. Between 2002 and 2006, Tennessee’s graduation rate jumped from 60 percent to 71 percent, the biggest jump in the nation, while Florida’s rose to 64 percent, according to one analysis.

Tennessee education officials credit a smoother transition from eighth to ninth grade; freshman academies with “small and more focused learning environments”; and a 2001 driver’s license law that requires kids to stay in school and make “satisfactory academic progress” or lose their driving privileges.

The report was put together by the influential Southern Regional Education Board, which has 16 member states, including Florida. In a companion report, the board lists 10 recommendations for boosting high school achievement and graduation rates -- and then singles out Florida for incorporating some of them in its new grading system.

(Map from


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:38am]


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