State high school graduation rate hits all-time high - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

State high school graduation rate hits all-time high

Updated:

New Orleans, La. - State officials say the percentage of Louisiana public high school students who graduate in four years edged up again in 2012, reaching 72.3 percent. In fact, the new numbers put it at an all time high.

The 19 schools overseen by the Orleans Parish school board did even better, ranking first in the state with a graduation rate of just over 89 percent.

The combined rate of the Recovery School District and the 19 schools controlled by the Orleans Parish School Board also bested the state average at almost 78 percent.

Orleans Parish was followed by Beauregard Parish with 87.9 percent and Ascension parish with 87.1 percent.

In the metro area, Jefferson Parish had a graduation rate of 70.4 percent; St. Tammany Parish had a graduation rate of 79.1 percent; St. Bernard parish had a graduation rate of 75.6 percent and Plaquemines Parish had a graduation rate of 83.8 percent.

The record high rate was announced Thursday by Governor Bobby Jindal during an appearance at Dutchtown High School in Geismar.

 The rate has been climbing since the 1990s, although the rate of increase slowed a bit last year. The 2011 rate was 71.4 percent - a more than 4 percentage point jump from the 67.2 percent in 2010.

Governor Jindal said, "since entering office, we have worked to reform and improve our education system to ensure that every child in Louisiana has the opportunity to get a great education. Indeed, we have eliminated ineffective programs and invested in programs that improve outcomes for students.

He added "these reforms are working for our students. Graduation rates have reached an all-time high and more students than ever before are better prepared for higher education or a job in the workforce. This is great news, but we should not declare victory yet. We will not stop working until every child in Louisiana has the opportunity to get both a great education and the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century workforce."

"This increase in the number of Louisiana students graduating is a clear sign that the changes set in motion in the schools of our state are working. these steps, along with the dedication of educators and families, have produced great results," said state education superintendent John White.

"These results show what we can accomplish when we work together as a state and challenge everyone to excel," said Chas Roemer, president of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

"It is also clear we still have more to do, and we will continue working to provide every child in the state with ample opportunities to reach his or her full potential."

BESE member Stephen Waguespack said, "These graduation rates are proof that the reforms we put in place for our children are working. eliminating ineffective programs and focusing on those that work give our kids the tools they need to get a great education and succeed in the classroom."

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