BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) More Louisiana students than ever before graduated from high school in four years in 2018, according to results released today by the state’s Department of Education.
The state’s high school cohort graduation rate increased from 78.2 percent in 2017 to 81.4 percent in 2018. The graduation rate has improved 9.1 percentage points since 2012, a faster pace over time than the national growth of only 4.6 percentage points. Louisiana graduated 40,124 students last year, up from 39,395 in 2017 and 35,332 in 2012.
Bossier Parish’s graduation rate also reaches an all-time high at 85 percent. This reflects a gain of 2.4 percentage points from the previous year. At Benton High School, the cohort graduation rate reached
93.3 percent; Bossier High saw its graduation rate skyrocket by more than 14 percentage points; and Plain Dealing increased its number of graduates by nearly four percentage points.
“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work,” said Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey. “Our high school accountability coaches are one of the main reasons we are seeing this level of success. They focus on opportunities for our students and outcomes, while working in partnership with their entire teaching staff that is also working collaboratively. It is all vital to our children’s academic success and directly impacts school scores and graduation rates.”
A news conference was held Wednesday afternoon for Caddo Parish Public Schools. They announced a record too with a new all time high for students graduating at 80.9 percent. The state data shows Caddo’s graudation rate rose by 7.1 percent and put Caddo in the top 10 districts in the state for annual growth.
Caddo Schools Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree says,”It means that our children are leaving high school prepared for whatever that next phase of life will be. As we announce this information during the week of graduation, it’s very encouraging to know that our parish, our state, our world will see more student leaving this parish prepared to be productive in life.”
The state has set a new goal. By 2025, The Louisiana Department of Education wants 90 percent of students to graduate from high school.
Other highlights from the Class of 2018:
–Louisiana’s African-American graduation rate is, for the first time, higher than the national average. More than 78 percent of African-American students graduated in this cohort, up from 72.9 percent in 2017 and nearly 66 percent in 2013. The latest average national graduation rate is 77.8 percent.
–Historically disadvantaged student groups are narrowing the graduation achievement gap with their peers. Nearly 76 percent of economically disadvantaged students graduated in this cohort, up from about 73 percent in 2017 and nearly 68 percent in 2013. Nearly 60 percent of students with disabilities graduated in this cohort, up from 52.6 percent in 2017 and less than 37 percent in 2013.