Alabama’s 2016 graduation rate 16th in nation (Real-Time News from

Alabama’s 2016 graduation rate 16th in nation

Alabama’s overall high school graduation rate of 87.1 percent for the class of 2016 ranks sixteenth in the country, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, falling from third for the class of 2015.

But 2015’s high ranking was invalidated after federal education officials found Alabama education officials had artificially inflated graduation rates by counting as graduates students whose coursework didn’t fully align with Alabama’s rigorous academic standards.

Alabama’s graduation rates for school years 2010-2011 through 2014-2015 must now be publicly marked as unreliable wherever the state publishes them.

The graduation rate for the country as a whole for the class of 2016 hit a record high 84.1 percent, increasing from 83.2 percent for the class of 2015.

Iowa ranked first in the nation, with a graduation rate of 91.3 percent. The District of Columbia ranked last, with a 69.2 percent graduation rate.

The federal graduation rate is calculated as the percentage of students who graduate four years after entering high school as a ninth grader.

Alabama had the third-highest graduation rate for Hispanic students (87 percent) and black students (84.5 percent), but ranked 43rd for students with disabilities (54.1 percent).

The graduation rate for Alabama’s white students was 88.6 percent, tying for 24th in the country.

Alabama education officials do not plan to recalculate graduation rates for prior years, and this year released two versions of graduation rates: one using the federal formula and a second using the state formula.  

The state formula stands at 89.2 percent and counts 1,202 students who took the coursework that isn’t fully aligned with Alabama’s standards. The state-calculated rate for the class of 2015 was 89.3 percent.

Because Alabama no longer requires students to pass a graduation test, some have questioned what bar students have had to meet to earn a high school diploma.

As an alternate measure, state education officials began measuring the percentage of students who had earned any one of seven credentials indicating the student is ready for college or career. Those indicators are:

  • Earning a benchmark score in any section of the ACT college entrance exam,
  • Earning a score of “3” or greater on an Advanced Placement test,
  • Earning a score of “5” or greater on an International Baccalaureate test,
  • Earning college credit through a dual enrollment course or other postsecondary course,
  • Earning an industry credential in a career tech course,
  • Being accepted into the military, or
  • Achieving the silver or gold level on the ACT WorkKeys exam.

Seventy percent of 2015 high school graduates were considered college or career-ready, while 89.2 percent of students earned a high school diploma. The percentage of 2015 graduates considered college or career ready ranged from a low of 20 percent to a high of more than 95 percent.

The college and career ready rates for the class of 2016 have not yet been released.

The Alabama State Department of Education did not return a request for comment by publication time. 



via Real-Time News from

December 5, 2017 at 02:22PM