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Duval County Graduation Rates Best Ever

Kevin Meerschaert

The Duval County Public Schools has seen its best high school graduation rates in district history.The district also reported Wednesday its highest rates ever of college readiness.

The district’s graduation rate increased to 72.1 percent a jump of nearly four and a half points over last year.  

The percentage is calculated based on the number of students who graduate in four years after entering the ninth grade.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said the numbers are an improvement but there is a lot more work to be done.

"Our first goal is to exceed the state average and in one year we've narrowed it," he said. "We have a couple percentage points to go to be at the state average. So that's our first goal."

"Our second goal is to be highest performing large urban district in Florida."

Duval is ranked sixth out of the seven largest districts in the state. The state graduation rate is 75.6 percent.

Three Duval schools, Lee, Ed White and Peterson saw double digit increases in their graduation rates.

Frank Peterson Academies Principal Cathy Barnes says it was a group effort to experience such an improvement.

"Everybody has bought into what we're doing, both our teachers, our students, our parents and the business partners, they believe in what we're doing and it's working for the students," she said.    

Graduation rates for at-risk students increased by four-percentage points to just under 47 percent.

Eighty percent of students graduated college ready in reading and 60 percent in mathematics, meaning  they won’t have to take remedial classes in college.

You can follow Kevin Meerschaert on Twitter @KMeerschaertJax.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.