Graduation Rates increase in Tuscaloosa

CW Staff

Graduation rates across the Tuscaloosa County School system are on the rise according to the school system’s assessment and accountability department. On Thursday, June 23, Gwen Harper and Cheryl Wallace presented a report to the Tuscaloosa County Board of education and compared numbers from the 2011-12 school year to the 2015-16 school year. At the end of the 2011-12 school year a total of 934 students graduated from Tuscaloosa’s school system. The rates continued to increase over the following years, and by the end of the 2015-16 school year 1,108 students graduated from the school system.

However, as Harper noted in her presentation, the numbers are indicative of two different groups of students. There are the students that graduated high school in four years, and then those who graduated in five years. The number of summer graduates were also analyzed. There were 1,070 four-year students who completed the 2014-15 school year between August 2014 and July 2015. The numbers mark significant progress from the 942 summer graduates in 2011-12.

According to the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, the Tuscaloosa County School System had an 83.9 percent graduation rate in the 2014-15 school year, but figures of graduates for the 2015-16 school year will not be determined until the end of the summer session in July. Wallace also said 70 percent of the students who graduated last year met at least one indicator for college and career readiness. 

In addition, 12 percent of graduates met standards for advanced placement courses, while 56 percent met at least one of the benchmarks in the ACT test. Also, 56 percent of students met at least one indicator from the ACT WorkKeys – a test that assesses job skills in an individual.

There is also an increase to the amount of scholarship money received by Tuscaloosa County School System graduates. According to the recent graduating class received more than $14.7 million in scholarship offers compared to the $6 million worth of offers from 2011-12 graduates.