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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Hillsborough looks forward to good graduation news



School officials around the state are bracing for news about the 2016 graduation rate, and the news appears good in Hillsborough.

The district has lagged 2 or more points in recent years behind the state, other large districts and its neighbors in the Tampa Bay area, with a 2015 rate of 76 percent.

But all that could soon change.

Preliminary numbers indicate Hillsborough's graduation rate has risen "about three points," Superintendent Jeff Eakins said at a Tuesday morning workshop, after member April Griffin put him on the spot during a discussion about the College Board SpringBoard curriculum. That could place Hillsborough on level, or perhaps beyond Pinellas, Pasco and the others.

Griffin then asked Eakins if Hillsborough is on track to reach the much stated goal of "90-by-20." meaning a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.

It is, Eakins responded.

Not only that, he said: It appears the "gaps," presumeably the racial achievement gaps, are narrowing.

We'll post those numbers when they become available.

In the meantime, discussion at the workshop touched on other issues of concern. Among them: Hispanic students are now the single largest demographic group, and many live in Spanish-speaking households.

Member Susan Valdes wants the board to have a separate workshop on dual-language instruction, a method of teaching children simultaneously in both English and their native language. She contends the research supports dual-language irrefutably. Chairwoman Cindy Stuart said she'll schedule such a workshop in 2017.




[Last modified: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 1:57pm]


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