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MCSD 2017-2018 Graduation Rate Surpasses State

overall graduation rate chart comparing Monroe County Schools and state average over the last six school years


KEY WEST, Fla. – State-released graduation rate reports show Monroe County School students closed the gap and met the state average of 86% for the 2017-2018 school year. Reports from the Florida Department of Education show 86 students did not graduate the 2017-2018 school year, down from 127 students the previous school year.


Chairman Bobby Highsmith said the results are promising and leave room for growth. “I am well pleased with these outstanding results.  They are the product of concerted effort and lots of hard work from our students, teachers, parents and administration.  They also reflect the highest priority of this School Board, which is to improve our District’s overall graduation rate.  And although these results are excellent, there is still much room for further improvement, for which we will all continue to strive.”


Executive Director of Assessment and Accountability Dr. David Murphy released projections before state officials released the data and predicted the Monroe County School student graduation rate would slightly exceed state average. “The results are a credit to our building principals, their leadership teams, and the teachers across the district. When Superintendent Porter came to our district, he noticed immediately that despite our high performance in many areas of the state accountability system, our graduation rate lagged behind most of the other districts.”


Dr. Murphy also compared district averages with state averages, based on demographic information like student race and ethnicity. Graduation rates show continued closure of achievement gaps between Black and Hispanic students and White students. “Many subgroups had large gaps that showed a lack of equity in the outcomes we were providing. Mr. Porter challenged all principals to address the issue because graduation rate is not simply a high school issue, it is a system issue. There is clearly more work to be done to ensure that all students leave our system with a positive outcome, but to continue a positive trend and to finally get above the state average for graduation rate is gratifying.”


The results are as follows:

  • Overall rate: Passed the state rate for the first time, closing a 3.1% gap from 2017 (MCSD (86.4%), State (86.1%)).
  • White students: Separated MCSD from the state (MCSD (92.1%), State (89.0%)).
  • Hispanic Students: Reversed two years of declining performance. Closed gap between MCSD and the state from 12.1% to 5.3%. (State (85.1%), MCSD (79.8%)).
  • Black Students: Continued to improve but gap between state and MCSD grew from 1.7% to 3.7%. (State (80.9%), MCSD (77.2%)).
  • ESE Students: Closed gap between MCSD and State from 12.8% to 2.6%. (State (77.0%), MCSD (74.4%)).
  • Low-SES Students: Closed gap between MCSD and State from 9.4% to 2.7%. (State (82.0%), MCSD (79.3%)).
  • ELL Students: Closed gap slightly from 15.6% to 14.7% improving from 51.7% to 60.3%.  (State (75.0%), MCSD (60.3%)).
  • At-Risk Students: Eliminated an 8.5% gap and passed the state by 5.7%. (MCSD (78.4%), State (72.7%)).


Superintendent Mark Porter said Dr. Murphy’s accurate results have allowed for proactive planning for school improvement. “Dr. Murphy was spot-on with his predictions. These predictions were available to district and school administrators well before the state averages became available. Having access to this data to be able to conduct our own district-led initiatives like ‘Project 127’ to address student achievement and graduation rate is vital in proactive planning for student success. We have been able to implement objectives at all grade levels based on alignment with our goals to strategically address graduation rates at every benchmark.”


District officials are expected to share further details about MCSD graduation rates at the January 22nd board meeting. For more information on student achievement, go to