High School Graduation Rates in Tennessee Hit New High Under More Rigorous Criteria

Published October 12, 2016 at 12:23 p.m.
Kingsport, Tenn.Education Commissioner Dr. Candice McQueen announced yesterday (Oct. 11) that the 2015-2016 graduation rate of 88.5 percent is the highest on record since the state changed to a more rigorous calculation of graduation rates in 2011.

Dobyns-Bennett High School is among 76 districts in the state (roughly 60 percent) that had graduation rates at or above 90 percent for both 2014-15 and 2015-16.

In 2014, DBHS had a total of 431 graduates with a graduation rate at 90.3 percent (State 87.2 percent) with 84 percent of those D-B graduates continuing their education. In 2015, DBHS had a total of 458 graduates with a graduation rate at 93.7 percent (State 87.8 percent) with 83 percent of those D-B graduates continuing their education.

“This is one of the highest graduation rates in this new era of accountability.  There are many people responsible for assisting our students in earning their diplomas.  Chief of among these is our graduation coach, Rebecca Osborne.  Additionally, our counselors, assistant principals, student advocate, teachers, and the staff at DBE have all done yeoman’s work to help make graduation a reality for our students.” said Dobyns-Bennett Principal Dr. Chris Hampton. “We are preparing our students to think deeply, work hard, and persevere in all they do. High school graduation is a given in our eyes. Post-secondary successes, as well as being responsible and civic-minded citizens, are the big picture goals we set for our students. We still have much work to do in order to meet all of these goals, but feel we are well on our way.”

The latest statewide graduation rate was up nearly a full percentage point since last year and overall has increased three percentage points since the state implemented the more rigorous calculations. This year, nearly 60 percent of districts saw their graduation rates increase or stay the same when compared to last year’s rates.

“Our schools and districts should be proud of the work they have done to support students on their journeys to and beyond high school graduation,” McQueen said. “High school graduation is a critical step in allowing students to embark on their chosen paths in life. However, as more Tennessee students are earning their diplomas, we must ensure that they are all leaving with the knowledge and skills to be successful in college and the workforce.”

Over the past few years, Tennessee has been raising expectations for both students and educators, and the state has seen significant gains as a result. These outcomes, including increases in graduation rates, are a testament to the work being done in schools across the state.

Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school and a non-traditional school; with total enrollment over 7,300 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to be, Student Focused … World Class.

KCS has been named the top school district in Tennessee as winner of the 2014 SCORE Prize District Award by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and has earned the 2014 Achievement Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee Recognition Program by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE).

For more information on KCS, visit k12k.com, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FMThe Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District) and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).