The Flagler County school district’s graduation rate continued to improve in 2012-13, as it has in each of the past five years, to 76.9 percent, according to figures released by the district this week, and based on uniform federal Department of Education calculations. Flagler has the 26th-best graduation rate among Florida’s 67 counties.
The state graduation rate was 75.6 percent. The best rate was recorded in Nassau County, where 90.0 percent of students graduated. St. Johns County’s rate was 86.7 percent, and Volusia’s was 68 percent.
Flagler’s rate improves from last year’s 74.8 percent, and is up significantly from the 2008-09 rate, when it was 65.1 percent. But the graduation rate among black students continues to lag, adding to pressure on the district that it’s not doing enough to address a vast gap between white and black achievement. The black graduation rate was 67.9 percent, compared to a white-only graduation rate of 77.6 percent. Hispanic or Latino students recorded a similar graduation rate, while Asian students had a 94.1 percent rate.
Looking at the district’s two high schools, Matanzas had a graduation rate of 85.1 percent, with 325 of 382 students graduating. Flagler Palm Coast High School had a rate of 75.7 percent, with 462 of 610 students graduating. Eighteen students were recorded as having attended Everest alternative school. None graduated.
The rate represents a moving average in that it represents the progress of a group of students who entered the same grade at the same time over a four-year period. It’s calculated differently from the drop-out rate, which accounts for all students who drop out of school in 9th through 12th grade in a single school year. That rate in Flagler was 1.3 percent in 2012-13, compared to 2.2 percent five years ago.
Because the two rates are calculated differently, they are not inversely proportional.
Going by the state’s explanation, Florida’s graduation rate is 75.6 percent, but that does not mean that 24.4 percent of students are dropouts. Non-graduates include students who are still in school, received certificates of completion or received GED-based diplomas.