Florida Tops The Nation In Hispanic Graduation Rates

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Florida Department of Education Press Office at (850) 245-0413

Minority graduates in the Sunshine State lead the U.S. across the board

Tallahassee, Fla., June 7, 2012 – Hispanic and African American students in Florida are much more likely to graduate from high school than their counterparts in other states according to a new national report. Education Week today released the 2012 Diplomas Count report highlighting Florida’s graduates compared to the nation. The report, which is based on data from the graduating class of 2009, shows that Florida’s Hispanic and African American students outpace the national graduation rate average by 9.6 and 3.5 percentage points, respectively. Hispanic female graduates top the nation with 77.5 percent of female students graduating, more than 10 percentage points higher than the national average of 66.1 percent. The Florida Hispanic graduating class ranks second in the nation overall. Additionally, Florida’s African American male students exceed the national graduation rate average by 4 percentage points. “Florida is a leader in many areas of education, and I am incredibly proud of our students for this outstanding achievement. When we truly embrace diversity, it contributes to the great progress of our children,” said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. “I want to thank Florida’s teachers for their hard work to prepare our learners for graduation, college and future careers. Our state is a great example of what happens when we work together for our students.”

Florida ranks third in the nation for the largest increases in graduation rate during the past decade, rising from 52.5 percent in 1999 to 70.4 percent in 2009 (an increase of 18 percentage points), surpassing Maryland, Massachusetts, and Texas. Among the nation’s largest public school systems, Broward County (78.3) and Palm Beach County (75.4) graduation rates rank among the top ten in the country. Lee County ranked eleventh (74.6).

Diplomas Count 2012
Graduation Rates - Florida National Average
Hispanic   72.6  -   63.0
Hispanic males    66.8  -   58.1
Hispanic females    77.5  -   66.1
African American    62.0  -   58.7
African American males    55.7  -   51.9
African American females    68.0  -   65.3
All Students    70.4  -   73.4
Male    66.8  -   69.6
Female    75.9  -  76.4

Diplomas Count is published by Education Week; the same organization that produces the Quality Counts national report on education. The focus of Diplomas Count is high school graduation rates and policies, as well as college standards. Diplomas Count uses a graduation rate index called the Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI).The CPI includes students receiving standard high school diplomas as graduates. For more information about the CPI and Education Week’s Diplomas Count 2012 report, visit http://www.edweek.org/ew/index.html.

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About the Florida Department of Education: The department’s mission is to increase the proficiency of all students within one seamless, efficient education system by providing them the chance to expand their knowledge and skills through world-class learning opportunities. Serving more than 3.5 million students, 4,200 public schools, 28 colleges, 188,000 teachers, 47,000 college professors and administrators, and 318,000 full-time staff throughout the state, the department enhances the economic self-sufficiency of Floridians through programs and services geared toward college, workforce education, job-specific skills and career development. Florida ranks first in the nation for teacher quality, first in the nation in advanced placement participation, and first in the southern region for graduation rate and degrees awarded by the Florida College System. For more information, visit www.fldoe.org.