BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s public high school graduation rate has dropped, only a year after state leaders celebrated the state reaching a milestone.
The Advocate reports the senior class of 2019 had a graduation rate of 80.1%, down from 81.4% a year earlier, according to the state Department of Education.
But in a bright spot, the number of students who graduated on time in 2019 created a state record, at 42,650 students, up from 40,131 students the year before.
“We are pleased to celebrate the coordinated efforts resulting in more Louisiana students earning a high school diploma than in previous years,” Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley said in a statement Wednesday. He added: “With the good news also comes concern, however, as the graduation rate for the cohort fell from the previous year.”
It’s unclear why the high school graduation rate fell.
White students graduated at a higher rate than Black students, 85.9% compared to 75.6%.
Last year’s announcement that the graduation rate exceeded 80% sparked a gathering of state leaders on the steps of the Louisiana Capitol to celebrate the state finally meeting a target that, while low by national standards, was the goal of a 2009 state law.
The Louisiana graduation rate was 67.2% in 2010 and 77.5% in 2015. The national average for the graduating class of 2018 was 85%, the latest data available, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
By: Associated Press