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PRESS RELEASE

November 16, 2004

Jacob DiPietre
(850) 488-5394 or
MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Governor Bush Announces Florida's High School Graduation Rate
Governor touts significant increases in minority high school graduates

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner John Winn today announced Florida's high school graduation rate rose nearly three points in 2003-04 and nearly 12 percent since 1998-99, with the greatest gains among minority students. Meanwhile, Florida's drop out rate maintained its steady decline for the fifth straight year, dropping to 3 percent, nearly a two and half point decrease since 1998-99.

"Our high expectations for students lead to rising student achievement, making our state's future brighter," said Governor Bush. "This progress is a result of hard work coupled with high standards and accountability, which ensures every child is learning."

Florida's high school graduation rate rose to 71.6 percent in 2003-04 — up from 69 percent the previous year and 60.2 percent in 1998-99. This increase occurred even while standards for high school graduation increased. Florida saw increases among all students, especially minorities. African American students saw a 3.1 percent increase and Hispanic students improved by nearly 3 percent (2.9 percent).

"Florida has created a culture of aspiration where students know they can achieve," Commissioner Winn said. "Our students recognize a high school diploma is the first step to a higher education, and we are seeing that all students, regardless of background, are taking advantage of the opportunities our school system is providing."

Over the past year, 50 out of 67 school districts saw an increase in their graduation rate. Three districts - Charlotte, Hardee and Union — saw double-digit increases. Seven of the ten largest school districts — Brevard, Broward, Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, and Polk — saw larger increases than the state as a whole.

Florida also continued its steady progress in lowering the high school dropout rate. Florida's dropout rate of 3 percent is a modest improvement over last year's (3.1 percent) and a significant decrease from 5.4 percent in 1998-99.

The results for Florida's statewide four-year graduation rate since 1998-99 are shown in the following graph:

1998-99: 60.2%, 1999-00: 62.3%, 2000-01: 63.8%, 2001-02: 67.9%, 2002-03: 69.9%, 2003-04: 71.6%

The following table shows statewide results by race for the same period:

  White Black Hispanic Asian American
Indian
Multi-
racial
Total
1998-99 66.9% 48.7% 52.8% 73.4% 61.7% 64.7% 60.2%
1999-00 69.4% 50.6% 53.7% 77.4% 65.1% 64.8% 62.3%
2000-01 71.2% 51.9% 56.0% 77.5% 68.8% 68.4% 63.8%
2001-02 75.9% 54.9% 60.1% 82.0% 70.0% 74.1% 67.9%
2002-03 78.1% 54.2% 61.1% 81.0% 72.1% 73.8% 69.0%
2003-04 80.1% 57.3% 64.0% 82.3% 73.2% 78.1% 71.6%
1-Year Increase +2.0% +3.1% +2.9% +1.3% +1.1% +4.3% +2.6%

Attached is a list of graduation rates from 1998-99 through 2003-04 by school district.

Graduation Rates of Florida School Districts, 1998-99 to 2003-04

  1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 Change since 1998-99 Change since 2002-03
ALACHUA 63.3% 63.7% 61.2% 66.4% 67.5% 68.8% 5.5% 1.3%
BAKER 55.7% 54.3% 55.1% 60.8% 67.3% 68.2% 12.5% 0.9%
BAY 55.9% 65.9% 68.3% 70.3% 76.6% 75.4% 19.5% -1.2%
BRADFORD 60.4% 67.4% 70.8% 75.2% 74.7% 70.5% 10.1% -4.2%
BREVARD 64.0% 80.4% 86.8% 88.5% 88.4% 91.7% 27.8% 3.3%
BROWARD 53.5% 63.9% 62.3% 65.2% 62.7% 66.2% 12.8% 3.5%
CALHOUN 83.5% 90.4% 86.8% 86.8% 87.8% 90.5% 7.0% 2.7%
CHARLOTTE 68.4% 71.7% 74.7% 75.8% 68.0% 80.3% 11.9% 12.3%
CITRUS 70.8% 72.3% 73.6% 71.2% 75.3% 76.9% 6.0% 1.6%
CLAY 65.3% 65.9% 67.3% 70.9% 75.4% 73.8% 8.5% -1.6%
COLLIER 63.0% 63.3% 64.5% 68.2% 67.6% 72.5% 9.5% 4.9%
COLUMBIA 63.6% 61.8% 59.5% 68.1% 73.1% 75.6% 12.0% 2.5%
DADE 53.2% 52.2% 53.9% 55.7% 57.9% 60.6% 7.3% 2.7%
DESOTO 62.7% 67.5% 64.8% 69.7% 66.2% 66.3% 3.6% 0.1%
DIXIE 60.5% 71.2% 73.8% 75.1% 63.8% 72.8% 12.2% 9.0%
DUVAL 58.7% 57.4% 55.9% 61.0% 63.7% 67.2% 8.6% 3.5%
ESCAMBIA 62.6% 65.2% 65.2% 69.9% 64.9% 71.3% 8.7% 6.4%
FLAGLER 63.5% 64.4% 67.4% 72.2% 81.3% 79.4% 15.9% -1.9%
FRANKLIN 71.2% 63.2% 65.8% 57.9% 72.8% 71.1% 0.0% -1.7%
GADSDEN 46.0% 50.7% 51.0% 52.4% 48.1% 43.1% -2.9% -5.0%
GILCHRIST 64.1% 55.4% 66.5% 69.6% 76.8% 81.2% 17.1% 4.4%
GLADES 66.7% 51.0% 54.8% 54.7% 59.4% 54.8% -11.9% -4.6%
GULF 80.0% 83.0% 81.5% 83.8% 87.8% 93.8% 13.8% 6.0%
HAMILTON 54.3% 70.4% 59.5% 67.9% 61.5% 60.7% 6.4% -0.8%
HARDEE 65.0% 65.5% 57.6% 67.6% 62.0% 72.2% 7.1% 10.2%
HENDRY 66.7% 59.8% 50.5% 52.1% 63.9% 69.6% 2.9% 5.7%
HERNANDO 68.7% 67.4% 67.8% 74.0% 77.3% 79.5% 10.8% 2.2%
HIGHLANDS 70.0% 64.7% 68.6% 58.6% 66.9% 71.9% 1.9% 5.0%
HILLSBOROUGH 69.5% 71.4% 74.4% 77.5% 75.8% 79.3% 9.8% 3.5%
HOLMES 76.6% 73.5% 79.2% 79.8% 85.4% 79.6% 3.0% -5.8%
INDIAN RIVER 65.2% 64.9% 65.9% 78.9% 76.1% 82.1% 16.9% 6.0%
JACKSON 58.1% 49.8% 53.0% 59.6% 76.5% 77.1% 19.0% 0.6%
JEFFERSON 62.6% 65.3% 78.8% 64.5% 71.8% 64.9% 2.3% -6.9%
LAFAYETTE 80.6% 65.5% 58.0% 69.0% 79.5% 80.0% -0.6% 0.5%
LAKE 65.0% 66.3% 67.5% 68.7% 73.0% 72.1% 7.1% -0.9%
LEE 69.4% 67.8% 65.9% 66.0% 68.3% 70.7% 1.3% 2.4%
LEON 64.7% 67.3% 64.2% 74.3% 75.8% 79.8% 15.1% 4.0%
LEVY 61.2% 65.9% 55.7% 57.0% 63.5% 67.4% 6.2% 3.9%
LIBERTY 71.7% 72.7% 82.0% 77.5% 90.7% 89.8% 18.1% -0.9%
MADISON 67.5% 56.3% 68.4% 63.8% 68.0% 68.7% 1.2% 0.7%
MANATEE 56.2% 61.4% 65.2% 68.9% 73.8% 75.3% 19.1% 1.5%
MARION 57.9% 60.3% 65.2% 69.1% 70.6% 73.1% 15.2% 2.5%
MARTIN 60.6% 83.3% 85.4% 84.4% 85.1% 86.8% 26.2% 1.7%
MONROE 71.0% 72.0% 68.5% 74.2% 73.9% 75.2% 4.3% 1.3%
NASSAU 73.7% 67.9% 55.1% 76.7% 79.5% 81.1% 7.4% 1.6%
OKALOOSA 77.1% 77.5% 76.8% 83.7% 83.7% 82.9% 5.9% -0.8%
OKEECHOBEE 62.7% 64.3% 63.6% 67.6% 67.3% 60.5% -2.2% -6.8%
ORANGE 51.3% 49.5% 59.8% 68.3% 68.5% 72.7% 21.4% 4.2%
OSCEOLA 55.7% 58.9% 58.4% 66.1% 66.7% 64.6% 8.9% -2.1%
PALM BEACH 58.2% 63.6% 64.9% 66.6% 66.0% 65.9% 7.7% -0.1%
PASCO 63.5% 64.8% 65.9% 71.7% 74.9% 75.9% 12.4% 1.0%
PINELLAS 65.3% 64.3% 64.4% 66.4% 69.0% 70.8% 5.5% 1.8%
POLK 53.3% 55.3% 52.6% 66.9% 65.7% 71.6% 18.3% 5.9%
PUTNAM 65.8% 61.2% 62.9% 71.1% 79.5% 80.2% 14.4% 0.7%
ST. JOHNS 72.0% 74.9% 77.1% 76.1% 78.2% 78.3% 6.2% 0.0%
ST. LUCIE 63.5% 62.9% 69.6% 77.0% 76.8% 79.5% 16.1% 2.7%
SANTA ROSA 75.4% 73.5% 75.4% 85.5% 83.3% 84.8% 9.5% 1.5%
SARASOTA 63.0% 63.4% 70.3% 71.8% 76.4% 77.8% 14.9% 1.4%
SEMINOLE 63.3% 67.0% 70.9% 77.8% 81.4% 84.0% 20.8% 2.6%
SUMTER 71.4% 74.8% 73.1% 72.1% 79.8% 81.2% 9.7% 1.4%
SUWANNEE 60.6% 57.7% 60.7% 71.2% 72.3% 69.1% 8.5% -3.2%
TAYLOR 61.4% 55.1% 58.2% 68.7% 71.2% 74.1% 12.7% 2.9%
UNION 61.0% 58.8% 63.2% 78.4% 67.1% 79.2% 18.2% 12.1%
VOLUSIA 70.1% 74.9% 77.0% 81.5% 80.1% 83.0% 12.9% 2.9%
WAKULLA 76.2% 73.7% 72.5% 81.2% 83.6% 84.7% 8.5% 1.1%
WALTON 68.9% 75.4% 72.1% 69.9% 71.3% 75.2% 6.3% 3.9%
WASHINGTON 65.9% 69.0% 70.5% 70.1% 66.8% 70.8% 4.9% 4.0%
STATE 60.2% 62.3% 63.8% 67.9% 69.0% 71.6% 11.4% 2.6%