Foundation for Florida's Future Celebrates Graduates
Florida's Minority Students Lead the Nation
Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida’s high school graduates are exceeding expectations. According to Education Week’s 2012 Diplomas Count report, Florida’s Hispanic and African American students surpass the national graduation rate average by 9.6 and 3.5 percent, respectively.
“This year’s graduates and their teachers should be congratulated,” said Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. “Graduation standards have increased in recent years, and students have risen to the occasion. All students can learn – as the standard for success inches higher, students have proven they can achieve that bar. As our minority students outpace the nation, we should all be very proud and encouraged by their success.”
Florida has seen one of the largest increases in graduation rates during the past decade. Education Week reports that Florida's Hispanic female graduates lead the nation with 77.5 percent of females graduating, more than 10 percentage points higher than the 66.1 percent national average, and the Florida Hispanic graduating class ranks second in the nation. Florida’s African American male students surpass the national graduation rate average by four percent.
At the elementary school level, Florida’s Hispanic students have made strides in closing the achievement gap in fourth grade reading and fourth and eighth grade math. As a combined average, Hispanic students have improved a grade level each year since 2003. Florida’s Hispanic students also read as well or better than the average student in 21 states. Florida’s African-American students have closed the achievement gap with white students faster than the national average every year since 2003.
“Florida is blessed in its diversity,” added Levesque. “In many ways, our state represents the melting pot of America, and the growing success of our high school minority graduation rates is a testament to our hardworking students and Florida’s formula for student achievement. Teachers and parents should also be commended for their dedication, encouragement and support. We must continue working to equip our students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in a highly competitive world.”
In the eight-year period before Florida began assessing student learning with a standardized, statewide test, graduation rates declined by nearly seven percent. Since reforms were put into place, state graduation rates have increased by 20 percent. For more information about how Florida is leading the nation in education, visit www.AFloridaPromise.org .
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