The U.S. Department of Education released data last week listing state four-year high school graduation rates in 2010-11—the first year for which all states used a common, rigorous measure. Prior to the new methodology, varying methods used by states to report graduation rates made comparisons unreliable.
According to data for 2010-11, Florida had one of the worst graduation rates in the nation for the 2010-11 school year–71 percent. The state was tied with Louisiana and only had five states ranked below it: Alaska and Oregon (68%), Georgia (67%), New Mexico (63%) and Nevada (62%).
For the same year, Escambia County’s 58 percent was worse than any state.
For African-American students, Florida’s 59 percent graduation rate tied Ohio and only surpassed Wyoming (58%), Michigan (57%), Oregon (54%), Minnesota (49%) and Nevada (43%). Escambia County’s graduation rate for its black students was 45 percent, only beat out Nevada.
Escambia County’s graduation rate for white students (65%) was below the graduation rates for all the states. The closest state was Oregon with 70 percent graduation rate.
In summary, Escambia County has some of the lowest high school graduation rates in a state that is ranked nationally near the bottom for graduation rates.