Graduation rates in Escambia have risen over the last decade, and we are making steady, forward progress. In the graphic above, our most recent state letter grades for High Schools are illustrated.
Our High School grades are calculated utilizing a formula composed of many parts--one of which is the measurement of the progress of the lowest quartile of students year over year. Two of our High Schools, Tate and Northview, would have received an "A" letter grade were it not for the fact that the lower quartile students from these schools did not make adequate progress last year as measured by assessment tests.
With respect to graduation rates, the lowest quartile comes into play as well. A part of the formula that calculates our graduation rate is based upon the on-time, 4 year graduation rate of all students. Because we have many students who drop out or do not complete High School in 4 years, our overall graduation rate suffers. So how do other districts, like Duval County and Leon County, with similar demographics and areas of concentrated poverty manage graduation rates that are 72.1% and 77% respectively- some of the highest in the state? How do they beat our Escambia county rate by as much as 12 percentage points? How do Lake, Marion, Manatee, and St. Lucie (counties of similar sizes) counties beat our rate by significant margins?
We will look at the reasons in part II