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Graduation Rates Released - Hillsborough County Public Schools Continue to Show an Increase in Student Success

December 16, 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications
813-272-4060

Tampa, Fla. – (December 16, 2016) – Superintendent Jeff Eakins and School Board Members are pleased to announce the graduation rate for Hillsborough County Public Schools has increased to 79.1%, a 3-percentage point increase over last year.

The Florida Department of Education released high school graduation rates Friday afternoon. Since Superintendent Jeff Eakins took the helm of Hillsborough County Public Schools, the graduation rate has continued to increase from 73.5% in 2013-2014, to 76% in 2014-2015 and now 79.1% in 2015-2016.

The 3-percentage point increase is a true indication of the number of lives changed because these students now have a diploma. The increase means students have more opportunities for post-secondary education, more opportunities for better jobs with higher wages, and more opportunities to support a family in the future. This benefits the entire community by growing our economy.

"As much as our school system is about imparting knowledge on our students, we are in the business of changing lives," remarked Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins.

Superintendent Eakins and the School Board created a District Strategic Plan where raising the graduation rate continues to be a top priority.

The newly released information also shows Hillsborough County Public Schools is successfully closing the achievement gap between our African American, Hispanic and white students. Hispanic males went from a graduation rate of 67.6% to 72.9% in one year, a 5.3 percentage point increase. African American females jumped from a 68.5% graduation rate to 74.6%, a 6.1 percentage point increase. African American males increased from 58.6% graduate rate to 64.7%, a 6.1 percentage point increase.

"For our staff it’s all about tenacity. Through that and student advocacy you have people that will not let students fail," said Eakins.

The 79.1% graduate rate includes all schools that fall under the umbrella of Hillsborough County Public Schools, including charter, career centers and alternative schools. Our 27 traditional high schools have a graduation rate of 86.2%. A few highlights include Newsome High School with a 97.5% graduation rate, Armwood High School which increased their graduation rate by 8 percentage points to 72.5% and Middleton High School which increased their graduation rate by 9 percentage points to 74.7%.

"Our graduation rate shows me we care about each child. It shows me we are not going to stop. It shows me we are going to get to every child and make sure they have every opportunity to receive a standard diploma," explained Supt. Eakins.

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