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2018 Alabama high school graduation rates released early


According to an early report, Alabama’s high school graduation rate for 2018 has increased. 

The State Department of Education had planned to the public release of the 2018 graduation rates in October but the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, a nonpartisan research group based at Samford University, released the 2017-18 high school graduation rates and college and career readiness rates on Monday. 

The preparatory numbers in the report were not finalized yet, according to state Superintendent Eric Mackey, who called the numbers “99.9 percent final.” 

Numbers obtained by PARCA show the 2018 overall Alabama graduation rate was at 90 percent, showing an 18 percent increase from the Alabama graduation rate in 2011. 

Rates of college and career readiness were also measured in the report. 

A high school graduate is classified as college and career ready if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Score college ready in at least one subject on the ACT
  • Score at the silver level or above on the WorkKeys Assessment
  • Earn a passing score on an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate Exam (college-level courses delivered in high schools)
  • Successfully earn a Career Technical Education credential
  • Earn dual enrollment credit at a college or university
  • Successfully enlist in the military

The report found that 75 percent of Alabama high school graduates were considered college and career ready in 2018, showing a nine percent increase from 2011. 

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While both the rate of high school graduates and the rate of college ready students have shown an increase, the numbers show a 15 percent gap between the percentage of students graduating and the percentage of seniors demonstrating who are considered college ready. 

In 2012, the Alabama State Board of Education adopted Plan 2020, which called for raising Alabama’s high school graduation rate to 90 percent, while at the same time producing graduates who are better prepared for college and the workplace.

Last year, Gov. Kay Ivey announced the “Success Plus” Initiative, a plan to add 500,000 high-skilled workers to the Alabama workforce by 2025, due to an increasing need for workers with certificates, credentials or degrees in addition to a high school diploma.


Jessa Reid Bolling is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter and graduate of The University of Alabama with a B.A. in journalism and political science.

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