Tennessee High School Graduation Rate Hits New High Under More Rigorous Criteria
NASHVILLE—Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced today that the 2015-16 graduation rate of 88.5 percent is the highest on record since the state changed to a more rigorous calculation of graduation rates in 2011.
The latest statewide graduation rate was up nearly a full percentage point since last year and overall has increased three percentage points since the state implemented the more rigorous calculations. This year, nearly 60 percent of districts saw their graduation rates increase or stay the same when compared to last year’s rates.
“Our schools and districts should be proud of the work they have done to support students on their journeys to and beyond high school graduation,” McQueen said. “High school graduation is a critical step in allowing students to embark on their chosen paths in life. However, as more Tennessee students are earning their diplomas, we must ensure that they are all leaving with the knowledge and skills to be successful in college and the workforce.”
Over the past few years, Tennessee has been raising expectations for both students and educators, and the state has seen significant gains as a result. These outcomes, including increases in graduation rates, are a testament to the work being done in schools across the state. The most notable gains and overall achievements are:
- 12 districts improved their graduation rates by five percentage points or more. The districts with the most significant gains were Alvin C. York (18.1 percent), Tullahoma City (11.6 percent), Trenton Special School District (11.1 percent), and Grundy County (10 percent).
- 95 districts—over 70 percent of the districts in the state—have graduation rates at or above 90 percent, up from 81 districts last year. Fentress County, Alcoa City, South Carroll Special School District, Milan Special School District, Meigs County, and Crockett County all had graduation rates at or above 99 percent.
- 76 districts—roughly 60 percent of districts in the state—had graduation rates at or above 90 percent for both 2014-15 and 2015-16.
More information, such as graduation rates for individual subgroups, will be available on the State Report Card, which will be released later this fall.
For individual district data, please reach out to your local school district. For media inquiries, please contact Sara Gast at (615) 532-6260 or Sara.Gast@tn.gov.