Tennessee graduation rate hits all-time high in the 2018-19 school year
The state of Tennessee released graduation data for the 2018-2019 school year. There’s good news: the graduation rate has increased— reaching 89.7%— and is the highest the state has ever seen.
The Tennessean shares the key takeaways:
The state increased its overall graduation rate to 89.7% and gained half a percentage point over the previous year. Over 72,000 students graduated in 2018-19, with 183 graduates over the previous year, according to state numbers.
The state’s graduation rate is the highest-ever for the state, which has steadily seen increases since changes made in 2011.
Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn celebrated the accomplishment, but said she believes the state can top this year’s results.
“Ultimately, I would like to see all 130 districts that serve high school students have a 90 percent graduation or better,” she said. “That’s something my team will be very focused on over the next four years, along with making sure those students have a career or college path in mind the day they walk across the stage to get that diploma.”
Metro Nashville’s graduation rate also increased by two percentage points, to 84.7%. The graduation rate is important, but it does not answer a deeper, more critical question: Are these graduates ready for college or career when they leave high school?
The state also measures readiness by the percent of students who score a 21 on the ACT and graduate on time, called a “Ready Graduate” metric. While those updated numbers have not yet been released, last year, the percentage of MNPS graduates qualifying as Ready in the 2017-2018 school year was only 24%.
The purpose of high school is greater than just reaching Graduation Day— we must ensure that our students are gaining the skills and knowledge they need for the next step in their lives.