Manatee district's graduation rates remain above 80 percent

With the labor market picking up more college graduates are getting jobs that require bachelor's degrees

Florida's high school graduation rate hit a 14-year high last year, with more than 82 percent of the class of 2017 earning a diploma in four years, state officials said Wednesday. The number reflects a small increase of 0.3 percentage point from 2016's graduation rate of 85.4 percent in Sarasota County.

The rate is calculated based on the number of students who start as ninth-graders in a school compared with the numbers who graduate four years later, according to the district. The district's rate in 2015-16 was 83.5 percent. Pinellas' 11 percentage point increase is the largest among those districts.

About three quarters of district-operated high schools achieved a graduation rate of 90 percent or better, with two schools, Suncoast High in Riviera Beach and Village Academy in Delray Beach, achieving 100 percent.

The state average grew by 1.6 percent for 2016-17, up to 82.3 percent.

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One of the criteria in determining high school's grades is the graduation rate.

Still, Gov. Rick Scott and top educators said the decade-long improvements, and an increase from 80.7 percent in 2016, were successes worth touting. "Excelling in high school opens doors to opportunities that provide students long-term benefits, and Florida's steady increase is promising for our state's and students' futures". The graduation rate for African American students in Alachua County, also rose to 68 percent.

"I look forward to working with the Legislature during the upcoming session to make sure our students have the resources they need to continue to build on this accomplishment for years to come", he said. The rate reported by the state also includes students attending charter schools. The U.S. Department of Education adopted this calculation method in an effort to develop uniform, accurate and comparable graduation rates across all states.


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