Leon Schools Graduation Rate Falls 3.7%, Ranks 7th in State

Leon Schools Graduation Rate Falls 3.7%, Ranks 7th in State

On January 10th, the Florida Department of Education released graduation data that shows, after years of increases, the graduation rates for Leon schools fell 3.7% in 2016-17. The graduation rate fell to 88.6% from 92.3% in 2015-16.

Florida’s statewide graduation rates rose to 82.3 percent, an increase of 1.6 percentage points over last year.

Last year Leon Schools were 11.6% above the state-wide graduation rate of 80.7%. Now the Leon graduation rate is 6.3% above the state-wide rate of 82.3%

The Leon graduation rate has increased each year from 77% in 2012-13 to 92.3% in 2015-16.

Despite the decline, the Leon County graduation rate ranks 7th out of the 67 Florida counties. Last year Leon ranked 3rd.

Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said, “I am thrilled to celebrate our state’s students and educators on this monumental accomplishment. Excelling in high school opens doors to opportunities that provide students long-term benefits, and Florida’s steady increase is promising for our state’s and students’ futures.”

The table below shows the graduation rates for the five major high schools in Leon County over the last two years and the year over year changes.

The information shows that all five of the high schools have a higher graduation rate than the state-wide average. Also, four of the five schools have graduation rates over 90%.

However, all schools reported a decline in graduation rates when compared to the previous year. The two largest declines were reported by Godby (-7.3%) and Leon (-5.7%). Chiles reported the highest graduation rate (97.7%) and the smallest decline (-.2%).

The new numbers showed that the gap between white and minority students in Leon grew by about 1.3 percentage points over the previous year to a difference of 12.8 percent. The graduation rate is now 81.6 percent for black students, compared to 94.1 for white students.

20 Responses to "Leon Schools Graduation Rate Falls 3.7%, Ranks 7th in State"

  1. Mark   January 16, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Superintendent Hanna should be ashamed of himself. But then again he’s never been accountable for any of his actions. It’s time for an investigation into his past and present so that we can keep him from being a future superintendent anywhere in Florida.

    Reply
    • james Anderson   January 18, 2018 at 7:03 am

      You should be ashamed of yourself. Hanna was not in charge during most of the period surveyed. He took over on Nov 8, 2016 – Former Leon High School Principal Rocky Hanna is the new superintendent of schools

      Reply
      • alex   January 19, 2018 at 7:23 pm

        Keep in mind that Supt. Hanna kept all the staff that worked for former Supt. Pons. He promoted all of them to Asst. Supt. The drop in graduation rates may be we need new direction and a whole new team.

        Reply
  2. phil   January 16, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    It is beyond me how, in this day and age, that we let anyone drop out of school. It just is totally ridiculous. They are minors and damage their ability to find work and a job. They become a drain on society, get involved in drugs and crime. Sure many work and many get their GED. But why even let them drop out. If they can’t function in a mainstream school, place them in an alternative learning school. If that doesn’t work send them into the military. They can finish their diploma there and learn a skill.

    Reply
  3. James Anderson   January 17, 2018 at 7:16 am

    Leon County schools are a joke. They are more worried about snow days, rain days, squirrel days, work days and any other excuse to close schools. It is all about being kind and gentle and not about education.

    Reply
  4. Snidely Whiplash   January 17, 2018 at 8:06 am

    No one really had high expectations for Hanna as the past election was a lesser of 2 evils choice.
    Yeah that Pons/Hanna race was your typical Feces/Vomit choice we are so often served up with here in the Capital City.
    Maybe next election.

    Reply
  5. Unrepresented   January 17, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Is this a 4 year graduation rate or the graduation rate for those who started the 12th grade?

    Reply
    • Staff   January 17, 2018 at 11:50 am

      Yes. Details below.

      Federal regulations (34 C.F.R. §200.19) require each state to calculate a four?year adjusted cohort graduation rate, which includes standard diplomas but excludes GEDs (regular and adult) and special diplomas. The U.S. Department of Education (USED) adopted this calculation method in an effort to develop uniform, accurate and comparable graduation rates across all states. This graduation rate is currently used in Florida’s school accountability system in the high school grades calculation.

      A cohort is defined as a group of students on the same schedule to graduate. The graduation rate measures the percentage of students who graduate within four years of their first enrollment in ninth grade. Subsequent to their enrollment in ninth grade, students who transfer out and deceased students are removed from the calculation. Entering transfer students are included in the graduation rate for the cohort of their scheduled graduation, based on their first date of enrollment in ninth grade. State, district and school graduation rates are calculated using this same methodology.

      Reply
  6. Scott Alvis   January 17, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Hanna wasn’t sworn in until the end of November. It seems unfair to me to blame this decline solely in him when he wasn’t even in office for nearly half of the school year. The graduation rate for 17-18 will be a much better indicator of where we are headed as a school system.

    Reply
    • Mark   January 17, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Superintendent Hanna was in charge for 75% of the last school year. He showed what he can do when he puts his effort into something:
      1. Putting together a notebook to tarnish the former Supt when Rocky admitted he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing.
      2.Covering up his ethics issue when he dated and then had transfered a teacher he supervised.
      3.Appointting several associate superintendents without ANY interview, one of which cleared him of wrongdoing when he dated a teacher he supervised.
      4. Not paying child support for 10 years.

      A full ethics investigation is needed by the school board

      Reply
  7. Preston Scott   January 17, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Wow…interesting reactions here. Let’s step back just a little. Let’s focus on the story – grad rates. There will be a time for the new Super to be accountable, but this is not the time. Too soon. Graduation rates are the culmination of a lot of factors.

    Look at the over-all Florida rate. Not good. It is likely driven way down by a handful of districts. The same is true locally. Now why certain schools have a rate falling like an anvil is a topic, but it is an uncomfortable one and it is not as simple as looking at the make-up of the school. Teachers have a thankless job. Not all students want to learn and the disrupters are generally sent right back to the classroom by admin which have no help from home and are unwilling (and unable?) to demand it. There are some solutions – but the school board has been unwilling to seriously consider them (I know because I personally tried to offer them some). There are ways to integrate what works in private education into the public system. We also have too many students who get passed for cause. They do not meet benchmarks early (K-3rd) and by the time they are older it is too late.

    This problem is years in the making, not months. This problem is shared by the state system which pushes paperwork down at a dizzying rate and makes a teacher’s job brutal when combined with the aforementioned classroom discipline issue. And finally, not all teachers know how to teach or really want to teach. You would be astonished to know the number we have with degrees totally outside the classes they teach.

    To me, this is not a complicated issue…but it surely is not easy either.

    Reply
    • Mark   January 17, 2018 at 8:00 pm

      Interesting thoughts. Florida graduation rates are at an all time high, Leon County graduation rates under the leadership of Supt. Hanna took the largest drop in one year in the state. To be clear, less students graduated in a 4 year cohort, this should not be blamed on what takes place in K-3. Mr Hanna ran stating he could and would do better. The accountabity metric for Mr. Hanna is in, he and his new leadership team did worse. Less students have a diploma since he took on the leadership of the district.

      We can debate the issue all day. Florida graduation rates up statewide, Leon rates are down.

      Reply
      • Preston Scott   January 18, 2018 at 2:19 pm

        Hi Mark! You are mistaken when you discount K-3…because I assure as the husband of an educator and former researcher and as a former private school administrator what happened nine or more years ago in a student’s education has a direct impact on whether or not he or she graduates.

        Reply
        • Mark   January 18, 2018 at 2:35 pm

          Preston, the issue at hand were the 12th graders from last year. The Superintendent and his hand-picked non interviewed associate superindents should have done more. The new associate superintendents were too busy spreading word that people would loose jobs and be demoted because in a campain they did switch sides to Rocky.

          Nobody is discounting any teacher, at any level. The issue is when Hanna took office he was more concerned with his own vendetta than he was students.

          What happens in every classroom matters. So why is it that Pinellas Countyhas a starting salary of $40,000 and we have less than that? Same state funding, different priorities for Superintendents.

          Reply
    • C   February 1, 2018 at 3:53 pm

      Preston I’ve always thought our system of k-12 being mandatory is the problem. All kids are not going to be academics, so all kids do not need geometry and pre-cal and trigonometry. We force these kids to sit through these pointless courses, tell them they can’t graduate without them, and then complain when they are disruptive. We should channel students according to their skills and desires around the 10th grade. If they want to go to college AND have demonstrated an affinity for increasingly difficult coursework, then and only then should tax payers foot the bill for another 2-3 years of high school. If they are not college bound, trade schools and apprenticeships can be found. If for some reason they bloom late, then they have to prove by testing they are qualified to reenter tax payer funded public schools. We ask teachers to do the impossible by teaching literature to a student who can barely read at all. To top it off, we then PAY to send them to college to learn the exact same things again. The first two years of college are the same courses that should’ve been mastered in the final years of high school. I do know much of public education is a way to keep tabs on American children to ensure they have access to food and that we have a certain basic level of education for our citizenry, but what we are doing now is not working and it is wasteful of both tax payer money and our students’ time. On another note, why doesn’t anyone consider boarding schools for our students who go home to questionable environments? We could have Socrates himself teaching during the day, but if a child goes home to no food, no lights, no supervision, no clean sheets, no one to help with homework, drugs and alcohol, etc., how can they ever thrive? And more importantly, why do I have to pay for that mess? I’d much rather use the tax payer money to ensure they have a suitable environment after school…we already pay for housing, food stamps, utilities, gas cards, school lunch, healthcare, transportation, etc. We ought to just take that money from the no good parents and put it into a boarding school campus.

      Reply
  8. Snidely Whiplash   January 18, 2018 at 9:40 am

    OK everybody with short memory it’s time for you to sit still and listen up while Snidely delivers your history lesson.
    Does anyone recall the recent visit to our fair city from the one person on the planet with more control over Federal education funding than anyone else?
    That’s right little Johnny it was Betsy DeVos the Honorable Federal Secretary of Education.
    Now childern do you also recall how unprofessional and hateful “Little Rocky” was to Ms DeVos?
    This is very telling on what kind of political hack but-hurt Hillary voter idiot “Little Rocky” is.
    Now stop trying to defend him!!!

    Reply
  9. LD   January 18, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    All I know as a parent is that LCS has spent tens if not over a hundred thousand dollars to make sure that my child, who has a form of dyslexia, will never be able to graduate from high school or attend college. I don’t know or care if its Rocky, Jackie, Ausley or the School Board that’s doing it, I only know how it feels to be in this situation. Its not something you ever want to have to go through.

    Reply
  10. Marcus   January 18, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    This statement of truth reflects the current situation I believe it speaks clearly to the priority of Superintendent Hanna and his Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services.
    “The new numbers showed that the gap between white and minority students in Leon grew by about 1.3 percentage points over the previous year to a difference of 12.8 percent. The graduation rate is now 81.6 percent for black students, compared to 94.1 for white students.”

    Reply
  11. Mandy   January 21, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    These results are a wake up call for every parent who has a child under the supervision of Rocky Hannah. Your child is less likely to graduate today than ever before.

    Reply
  12. Tommy   January 21, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    When the Superintendent of Schools hides from this unbelievable and sad data that translates into students having limited opportunities especially if you are poor and or a minority the School Board should immediately suspend the Superintendent for malfeasance and incompetence. Mr Hanna you were are to this day a man on a vendetta to undermine all of the positive aspect of puplic education. You are neither a gentleman or a scholar.

    Reply

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