Florida Tops the Nation in Hispanic Graduation Rates

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