Mississippi’s Graduation Rate Improves Significantly, Dropout Rate Shrinks
CLINTON, Miss. – Mississippi’s graduation rate improved significantly from 2011 to 2015, inching closer to the national average.
Districts showed a four-year graduation rate of 78.4 percent for the 2014-15 school year, up from 74.5 in the 2013-14 school. The national graduation rate average was 82 percent for the 2013-14 school year, the most recent statistic reported.
Mississippi’s four-year dropout rate was 12.8 percent in 2014-15, a drop from 13.9 the previous school year. The 2015 rates for graduation and dropouts are based on students who entered Grade 9 for the first time during the school year 2010-11.
The lower dropout rate and higher graduation rates prove that many districts are working to encourage students to stay in school, and they are focusing on attendance and targeting students at risk of dropping out, said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.
“Those efforts, as well as the Mississippi Department of Education providing more technical assistance to districts and school counselors to help students explore multiple pathways to college and careers, have contributed to dramatic decreases in students leaving school and increases in graduation,” Wright said. “However, there are districts in the state that still struggle to keep students on the path to a high school diploma, which means we have more work to do.”
The MDE also reported the graduation rate of students with disabilities at 27.5 percent. Wright said the MDE will continue to work with school districts to ensure that all students have the opportunity to graduate from high school.
“We are far from where we need to be when it comes to graduation rates for students with disabilities. The MDE will continue to provide technical assistance to districts to help them support the educational needs of all students,” Wright said.
Kingfish note: How did Jackson do?
The JPS graduation rate was 66.9%. JPS ranked 134 out of 150 school districts. JPS's dropout rate was 23.5%. Only eight districts had a higher dropout rate.