Graduation rate among county’s public high schools rises to 72.6 percent
Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 6:21 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 6:21 p.m.
Graduation rates increased at six of Alachua County’s seven public high schools during the 2012-2013 school year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Education.
The district’s rate overall increased from 68.7 percent in 2011-2012 to 72.6 percent last year.
Since 2011, each state has calculated graduation rates based on a four-year adjusted cohort, which includes standard diplomas, including those earned by charter school students, but not GEDs or special diplomas.
In a news release about the DOE report, Alachua County Public Schools spokeswoman Jackie Johnson wrote that the graduation rate listed by the DOE -- nearly 73 percent -- includes about 250 high school seniors from charter schools and alternative schools that are not under the purview of the public school district.
The graduation rate for Alachua County’s seven public high schools, she wrote, is closer to 82 percent this year.
Florida’s federal graduation rate rose to 75.6 percent, which is an increase of only 1.2 percentage points from last year but a total of 5 points above the 2010-2011 rate.
Gov. Rick Scott and Education Commissioner Pam Stewart expressed their pleasure in a statement released by the DOE.
“Florida’s parents and teachers have worked very hard to help students be successful, and I want to thank them for their continued efforts to help students graduate from high school ready to move on to college and a career,” Stewart wrote.
Eastside High had the county’s highest graduation rate in 2013, at 87 percent, an increase from 85 percent the previous year.
Santa Fe High and Newberry High saw the greatest increases, each gaining nine percentage points.
The graduation rate at Santa Fe High rose from 75 percent in 2012 to 84 percent last year, and Newberry came up from 71 percent to 80 percent.
The Professional Academies Magnet at Loften High came up 7 percentage points, from 61 percent in 2012 to 68 percent in 2013; Gainesville High’s rate rose from 77 percent to 83 percent; and Buchholz improved slightly from 82 percent in 2012 to 84 percent last year.
Only Hawthorne High’s graduation rate fell, dipping down to 50 percent in 2013 from 54 percent the previous year.
“I’m pleased that more of our students are graduating on time even with the ever-higher standards set by the state,” interim Superintendent Hershel Lyons wrote in a prepared statement. “Our schools and teachers work very hard to help students meet those standards and leave high school ready for college or the workplace.”