The School District of Palm Beach County has the highest graduation rate of all large urban school districts in Florida, and was the only large district to raise its graduation rate in 2014, according to figures recently released by the Florida Department of Education.
The county continued to outperform the state for the fifth consecutive year, with 77.9 percent of all students in the county’s district-operated and charter schools earning diplomas in 2014, an improvement of 3.6 percentage points since the 2010-11 school year.
Excluding charters, the number of students earning a diploma from a district-operated high school rose by 2.7 percentage points in 2014, with 84.3 percent of students graduating.
“We are pleased that the hard work by our teachers, principals, staff, students and their families is reflected in our results,” Superintendent E. Wayne Gent said. “While we recognize we have more work to do, we are making progress and moving in the right direction as a system. We are committed to ensuring that every student who walks through our school gates also walks across the graduation stage prepared for life, career and college.”
The district also boosted its graduation rates among Hispanic and black students in 2014. The number of Hispanic graduates in 2014 increased by 1.7 percentage points to 76.7 percent, while the number of black graduates in 2014 grew by 1 percentage point to 64.8 percent.
Under Gent’s leadership, the graduation rate for district-operated schools has grown by almost 4 percentage points, from the 2011-12 school year to the 2013-14 school year.
While graduation rates improved overall, Palm Beach County’s charter school graduation rate dropped 1.1 percentage points in 2014.
Florida’s high school graduation rates are based on the federal graduation rate, which includes standard diplomas but excludes special diplomas and general education diplomas (GEDs).
The Florida Department of Education’s web site has more information about graduation rates, including graduation rates for individual schools and for other school districts in the state.