Florida’s graduation rate is increasing but the state still ranks among the nation’s lowest, according to new federal data.
Just six states and the District of Columbia had a lower graduation rate than Florida’s 70.8 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics for the 2009-2010 school year. In the 2001-2002 school year, just five states and the District of Columbia had a lower graduation rate than Florida.
However, Florida’s graduation rate has risen to 70.8 percent in the 2009-2010 school year from 63.4 percent in the 2001-2002 school year — a 7.4 percentage point increase. During the same period, the national rate increased to 78.2 percent from 72.6 percent — a 5.6 percentage point increase.
These figures use an older method for calculating graduation rates. The federal government has required states to use a new, standardized method. Those figures allow for a better comparison among individual state graduation rates.
Florida also ranked among the bottom 20 percent of states using the new calculation. The new federal data shows the graduation rate gap between Florida’s white and Hispanic students is less than in other states, but students with disabilities graduate at a lower rate in Florida than other states.