Statewide high school graduation rate is higher than ever

Statewide high school graduation rate is higher than ever

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen
announced Thursday that the 2016-17 graduation rate of 89.1 percent is the highest on record for Tennessee.

The statewide graduation rate is up more than half a percentage point since last year, and overall it has increased 3.6 percent since the 2010-11 school year. This year, graduation rates increased in nearly 56 percent of districts with high schools.

Williamson County’s overall rate increased .1 percent, to 95.6%.

Maury County Schools dropped slightly, from 90.8% in 2015-16 to 89.2% in 2016-17, with Spring Hill High School at 94.3%.

Metro Nashville Public Schools also dropped slightly, from 81% in 2015-16 to 80.3% in 2016-17.

Williamson County High School graduation rates are as follows:

  • 96.7% Brentwood
  • 93.1% Centennial
  • 92.5% Fairview
  • 96.6% Franklin
  • 96.7% Page
  • 93.0% Independence
  • 97.1% Rennaissance
  • 98.1% Ravenwood
  • 95.5% Summit

“Teachers and educators in Tennessee have worked tirelessly to support students and these record graduation rates show their hard work is making a difference,” Haslam said in a press release announcing the rates. “As more students graduate from high school, we are committed to helping them go to college, succeed and become skilled members of Tennessee’s workforce. The graduation rate is eflective of the many gains we are making in education in our state.”

The state transitioned to a more rigorous calculation for graduation rates in 2011, and even under the new criteria, rates have continued to rise. This year, the most notable gains and overall achievements include:

13 districts improved graduation rates by 5 percentage points or more. The district with the most significant gains was Lake County, up 23.1 percentage points.

43 districts — about one-quarter of the districts in the state — have graduation rates at or above 95 percent, up from 36 districts last year.

The group of students who identify as Black, Hispanic or Native American increased its graduation rate by 0.4 percentage points to 83 percent, which is a three-year high.

Additionally, the Achievement School District (ASD) had the third largest gain of any district, up 12.8 percentage points. This historic growth for the district furthers the goals of the ASD as it creates urgency on improving education for all students, particularly those in schools in the bottom five percent of the state for academic performance.

“Teachers and students across the state should be proud of their hard work, and it is always encouraging to see that more students than ever are earning high school diplomas,” McQueen said in the press release. “Now we must focus on ensuring students are fully prepared for the academic and professional opportunities that come after high school graduation, so graduates can truly use their diplomas to seamlessly move into their next step.”

As part of the state plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Department of Education has created an accountability metric known as the Ready Graduate indicator. This new tool will measure the percentage of graduates who have met benchmarks proven to increase their probability of seamlessly enrolling in postsecondary education and entering the workforce
or military.

More information on graduation rates for individual districts and schools is available on the Tennessee Department of Education’s website under Graduation Cohort Data.

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