Graduation rates rise in Florida, but not for all students

Graduation ceremony. Credit: ShareAlike Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis applauded an increase in Florida’s graduation rate for 2018-19, but concerns remain about the number of students who finish high school with diplomas.

Overall, black and Hispanic students continue to lag white and Asian students in the analysis on graduation rates for 2018-19. And low-income kids and students with disabilities continued to fall below the state average.

In addition, the data on graduation rates has been controversial. The Florida Phoenix reported last year questioned whether the impressive graduation rates in Florida are for real, in part because state calculations have eliminated thousands of kids, which boost the grad rates.

And nationwide, investigations and even scandals have erupted over fishy practices and graduation-rate fudging, according to news accounts, even as the officially reported high school graduation rates have soared in recent years.

Overall, Florida posted a graduation rate of 86.9 percent for 2018-19 up from 86.1 percent the year before, according to a news release posted Thursday.

DeSantis said in a statement: “I applaud Florida’s students, parents and educators for their hard work and dedication that lead to these increased graduation rates. While these results are a positive mark of Florida’s upward progress, we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent. We must continue striving for educational excellence and making Florida the number one state in the nation for education.”

Asian students posted the highest rate for 2018-19 – 95.6 percent, while white students posted 90.2 percent.

Blacks students posted 81.5 percent; Hispanic, 85.9 percent; students with disabilities, 80.6 percent, and economically disadvantaged students, 82.9 percent, among other groups.

You can look up more data on graduation rates at: