Duval County Public Schools recently announced it has set a new record for the district’s graduation rate.
Now at 85.1 percent, schools in 2018 bumped the district’s average by more than 4 percentage points compared to 2017.
The results released in December by the Florida Department of Education include other records in all Duval County sub-group areas. Record-high graduation rates include:
• African American students: 83.2 percent graduation rate; up 6.4 points over last year.
• Hispanic students: 84.3 percent graduation rate; up 3.2 points over last year.
• English language learners: 82.3 percent graduation rate; up 5.4 points over last year.
• Low socioeconomic students: 79.5 percent graduation rate; 6 points over last year.
• Students with disabilities: 77.1 percent graduation rate; up 6.4 points over last year.
“Jacksonville leaders can now point to our school district as an asset in attracting jobs and economic development to our region,” Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene said. “Our teachers, our school leaders and most important, our students have done the work this community has asked them to do. The world needs to know that the young men and women in our schools are succeeding, and they are ready for college and careers.”
According to the district, the record-high graduation rate follows a report on national math and reading assessments earlier this year that identified Duval County Public Schools as one of the leading urban school districts in the nation.
Duval County’s graduation rate trajectory continues to rise faster than the state average. Where once Duval students trailed the state average by almost 7 percentage points, today Duval is just a single percentage point behind the state.
“When we increase as we have this year, it has the effect of pushing up the state average,” said Dr. Kelly Coker-Daniel, assistant superintendent for accountability and assessment. “When you add more than 7,000 graduates to the state’s formula, you drive up the overall rate. Duval is doing its part to drive the state’s success.”
In 2012, the district’s achievement gap between African American students and all students was 5.4 points. The new data shows that the achievement gap is now 1.9 percent.
“The School Board has placed tremendous importance in working toward equity in educational outcomes,” School Board Chairman Lori Hershey said. “Hearing the news that our achievement gaps for African American students, low-income students and all other sub-groups are closing rapidly really speaks to the quality of work happening in our schools.”
The improvement in the graduation rate is typically attributed to the work of the district’s high schools. Greene stated, however, that the graduation rate is reflective of the efforts of everyone on “Team Duval.”
“While our high school principals lead this effort during the last four years of a student’s time with us, these record high rates are a reminder of our collective efforts,” Greene said. “The high school experience builds on exceptional foundations from elementary and middle school. All of Team Duval should be proud.”