Just over 89 percent of Tennessee’s public high school students graduated on time in 2018, maintaining the state’s record-high rate from last year, education officials announced on Monday.
The graduation rate stayed at 89.1 percent after increasing in 2017 by a half percentage point. Since 2011, Tennessee’s rate has risen by 3.6 percent.
More than half of districts with high schools saw their rates improve over last year. Forty-three had rates above 95 percent, up from 36 school systems last year. And 22 schools across 15 districts had graduation rates of 100 percent.
Shelby County Schools’ rate dipped by almost a half a percentage point to 79.2 after four straight years of increases, but Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said he wasn’t overly concerned. “We’re still ahead,” he said of the district’s goal to reach 90 percent by 2025. It’s unclear if irregularities uncovered during the recent grade-changing probe in some Memphis high schools could have contributed to the earlier gains.
Among other urban school systems, Nashville’s graduation rate decreased slightly to 80.2, while Knox and Hamilton counties saw theirs rise to 89.8 percent and 86.6 percent, respectively.
Under Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration, Tennessee has worked strategically to graduate students from high school equipped to earn a postsecondary certificate, diploma, or degree. The state transitioned to a more rigorous calculation for graduation rates in 2011, and rates have risen even under the new criteria.
“By continuing to raise the expectations, we are signaling that Tennessee students are leaving high school with the knowledge and skills to be successful in college and the workforce,” Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said in a statement.
Below, find your school’s graduation rate in our searchable, sortable database. To learn more about your district, visit the state’s website.