The Alabama State Department of Education is releasing hard numbers on the state's 4-year high school graduation rate.
[DOCUMENT: 2012-13 High School Graduation Rates (.pdf)]
The Dept. of Education says efforts to keep students in school are gaining traction and it points at a rising graduation rate as proof. The rate, at 80 percent, is up considerably from a year prior when it stood at 75 percent and 72 percent just a year before that.
Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice says for every one percent increase in the graduation rate, about 600 additional students graduate from an Alabama high school. That means in the last two years more than 4,800 more students have graduated from high school, and on time.
"Not only is this increase significant for our students, but it is significant for our state's long-term economic impact as well," Dr. Bice said. More students graduating from high school means more students going to college, starting careers, and becoming productive, tax-paying citizens."
Bice credits the rise in rates to the BOE's PLAN 2020 which had a goal of 80 percent graduation rate by 2016. The goal is 90 percent by the end of the decade.
The plan's success hinges on efforts to address the reasons why students drop out of high school and provide support to keep them enrolled. "We've seen school systems use their people, funding, time, and other resources in creative ways to meet the needs of students contemplating dropping out," Bice said.
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