Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida sees slight gain in graduation rate

Florida has improved its graduation rate again, posting small gains among black and Hispanic students and continuing the climb of the past decade.

The state saw a slight gain in 2013, with 75.6 percent of students earning a high school diploma compared to 74.5 percent last year. That builds on a jump of nearly 4 percentage points the previous year.

In a prepared statement following the Florida Department of Education's release of the new data, Gov. Rick Scott praised the results, saying that "more Florida students are receiving a quality education so they can pursue their dreams."

Data comparing Florida to other states was not yet available for this year. In a report released last year, Florida's rate was lower than all but five states. That ranking was based on 2011 data, when Florida's rate was 70.6 percent.

This year in the Tampa Bay area, rates were up in Hillsborough County Schools, but down or flat in the Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando school systems. All but Pasco lagged behind the state average, according to results released Wednesday by the state Department of Education. In Hernando, where the rate was stagnant, superintendent Lori Romano said, "We have the ability to be much better than that."

All four school districts in the region saw a bump in the graduation rates for black students, although there continued to be sizeable gaps between black and white students in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. There were no large gaps in Pasco or Hernando.

In Pinellas, the graduation rate for black students went up slightly, with 56.3 percent of students earning a diploma in 2013 compared to 54.6 percent the prior year. That was far behind white students' 76.6 percent.

Superintendent Mike Grego said the school district is "moving in the right direction" with black and Hispanic students. He said he will meet with principals to talk about how to replicate the strategies of successful schools.

Boca Ciega High, for instance, posted the biggest gain, moving to 85 percent from 75 percent. Palm Harbor University High had the highest graduation rate, with 96 percent, while Dixie Hollins High had the lowest rate, with 73.9 percent.

In Pasco, where the overall graduation rate was 75.9 percent, the schools ranged widely, from 91 percent at Wiregrass Ranch High in Wesley Chapel to 60 percent at Fivay High in Hudson. The schools serving wealthier communities typically had higher graduation rates.

Florida's graduation rates have increased significantly over the last 10 years, with an overall gain of about 16 percentage points. The state's graduation rate in the 2003-04 school year was 59.2 percent. The rate does not include students who earn a special diploma or GED.

Staff writers Jeffrey S. Solochek and Danny Valentine contributed to this story. Contact Cara Fitzpatrick at cfitzpatrick@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8846. Follow @Fitz_ly on Twitter.

>>fast facts

Graduation rates around the state

Hillsborough: 74.1

Pinellas: 71.8

Pasco: 75.9

Hernando: 74.1

Broward: 75.3

Miami-Dade: 77.2

Orange: 75.9

Palm Beach: 76.3

State: 75.6

Source: Florida Department of Education

Florida sees slight gain in graduation rate 12/11/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 12, 2013 10:15am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In your 20s and living with mom and dad? In Florida, you're not alone.

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — After graduating from the University of Florida in 2015, Gabrielle Piloto jumped on the highway and headed south to Tampa.

    Gabrielle Piloto, 22, moved home to live with her grandparents in West Tampa after graduating from the University of Florida in 2015. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]

  2. Review: Nick White's 'How to Survive a Summer' takes on homophobia at its worst

    Books

    Will Dillard's summer camp experience is a real horror movie.

  3. Senate leaders unveil bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act

    Health

    The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans, who have promised a repeal of the Affordable Care Act for seven years, took a major step on Thursday toward that goal, unveiling a bill to cut Medicaid deeply and end the health law's mandate that most Americans have health insurance.

    U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill's chief author, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has said "Obamacare is collapsing around us, and the American people are desperately searching for relief." [AP]
  4. Southwest Airlines to offer flights from Tampa to San Diego

    Airlines

    TAMPA — Southwest Airlines will offer new nonstop service from Tampa International Airport to San Diego International Airport beginning Jan. 8, 2018.

    Southwest Airlines is planning to launch service from Tampa to San Diego.
[Times file photo]
  5. The greatest coaches never to win it all

    College

    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]