Nearly 80 Tennessee Districts Improved Graduation Rates In 20-21

  • Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Tennessee Department of Education on Wednesday released the graduation rate data for the 2021-22 school year, which exceeds pre-pandemic levels. With a statewide rate of 89.8 percent of Tennessee high school students graduating on time in the 2021-22 school year, a total of 78 districts improved their graduation rates from last year, and 95 percent of eligible students in 53 districts graduated on time this year. 

“Seeing our graduation rates return to pre-pandemic levels shows that strong partnerships and the right investments will result in improved outcomes for our students,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Thanks to the dedication of our districts and schools, educators, and families, Tennessee students are able to move into life beyond high school and pursue postsecondary pathways that will help them achieve their dreams and goals.”  

Tennessee’s graduation rate prior to the pandemic was 89.7 percent in 2018-19, and last year the rate was 88.7 percent. For the 2021-22 school year, the most notable takeaways from graduation data include:  

12 districts improved their graduation rate by 5 percentage points or more 
53 districts graduated 95 percent or more of their cohorts 
78 districts improved their graduation rates from 2021 to 2022 
54 districts improved the Students with Disabilities student group by 5 percentage points or more 
1,297 more students graduated in the 2022 cohort compared to last year, for a total of 64,580 graduating students across the state 

Access the 2021-22 graduation rate data here

The department continues to offer several initiatives to accelerate academic achievement and prepare students for postsecondary success, including summer programming, free ACT workshops, TN ALL Corps, Innovative School Models, and AP Access for All. 

“Marshall County is excited about the combined efforts of our students, families, faculty, and staff that all contributed to our highest graduation rate on record,” said Jacob Sorrells, director of Schools, Marshall County Schools. “We recognize and appreciate the work it takes to find success such as this.  We are particularly proud of our school counselors and graduation coaches for the extra time and attention given to our students and their individual needs. We look forward to continuing to provide the students of Marshall County a quality education and a path to postsecondary and career opportunities.” 

“Graduation from high school is essential for students to transition to the next phase of his/her life,” said Dr. Myles Hebrard, director of Schools, Hollow Rock-Bruceton Special School District. “Finding the appropriate pathways and building those strong foundations for each student is a testament to so many staff members who truly invest in our children. I am thankful for the staff who pour in their heart and time and the students who trust us to open up new doors of opportunity, whether that is technical school, college, or career pathways upon graduation.” 

"Our schools, educators, staff, and students have continued to work hard this past school year to ensure that our students are prepared for graduation and postsecondary success," said Eric Lomax, director of Schools, Perry County Schools. "The improvement that we have seen proves the efforts to provide our students with resources and supports to graduate and succeed beyond high school are working and we will continue focusing on what is best for our students." 

"All of our educators and staff work very hard to encourage each student to do their best and reach their goal of graduation," said Dan Black, director of Schools, Bradford Special School District. "The investments that we have put forth for resources throughout our district and schools proves that our main focus is putting students' needs first to set them up for success to graduate and beyond." 

For more information on graduation rates for individual districts and schools, please visit the department’s Data Downloads webpage.  

 

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