Alabama’s high school graduation continues to rise

Published 6:34 pm Friday, December 26, 2014

Four years ahead of the predicted schedule, the Alabama State Department of Education announces the high school graduation rate in Alabama has risen to a new record high – 86 percent. In accordance with PLAN 2020, the state’s plan for public education reform, the state ambitiously expected to reach a graduation rate of 86 percent by 2018.

One of the plan’s primary goals is to reach a graduation rate of 90 percent by the year 2020.

For every 1 percent increase in the graduation rate, approximately 600 additional students graduate from high school.

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The graduation rate has increased from 72 percent in 2011, to 75 percent in 2012, to 80 percent in 2013, rounding out at 86 percent in 2014.

State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice said the news of Alabama surpassing its previous record-breaking graduation rate of 80 percent is further validation that teachers and students are working harder than ever.

“We are absolutely delighted to see the graduation rate making these kinds of unprecedented gains. It is the result of teachers focusing on identifying the specific needs of students, removing barriers to learning, and helping students meet their goals.”

“Also, students are taking responsibility for their own academic success and putting in the hard work that is required to graduate from high school,” Bice said. “In an era of more rigorous academic standards, greater accountability, and higher expectations of our teachers and students, Alabama educators and the students they serve continue to demonstrate what steadfast resolve and hard work garners.”

Bice said increasing the graduation rate to 90 percent by the year 2020 is a goal that will keep youth on the path to becoming college and career-ready.

He said it will always be an economic boon for the state.

A recent report commissioned by the Business Education Alliance, an independent organization, showed that reaching a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020 would have an economic impact on the state of $430 million greater that year than if the graduation rate remained at its current level.