August 22, 2020

Record Number of High School Graduates for Class of 2019

Record Number of High School Graduates for Class of 2019

While 2020 has seen its fair share of roadblocks and hurdles, a recent report shows some good news for 2019 grads. The state had a record number of high school graduates and also saw a record in TOPS eligibility, as reported by a Louisiana Department of Education press release.

The class of 2019 recorded a record-high 42,650 “on-time” high school graduates, according to the report released by the Louisiana Department of Education. Despite this milestone, it should be noted that the overall cohort graduation rate decreased from 81.4 percent in 2018 to 80.1 percent in 2019. This released graduation data reflects the four year adjusted cohort graduation rate, which tracks “on-time” graduation.

“We are pleased to celebrate the coordinated efforts resulting in more Louisiana students earning a high school diploma than in previous years,” said Louisiana State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “”With the good news also comes concern, however, as the graduation rate for the cohort fell from the previous year.”

The class of 2019 also saw Louisiana’s highest recorded number of TOPS scholarships and students earning college and career credentials.

Louisiana saw a record number of high school students graduate on time in 2019 at 42,650, up from 40,131 in 2018. The number of graduates earning early college credit and industry career credentials rose 9.7 percent from 24,841 students in 2018 to 27,260 in 2019. The Class of 2019 also saw growth in the number of students who were eligible for the TOPS scholarships. This class had 22,098 students eligible for TOPS, a 3.8 percent increase from the 21,280 students who were eligible in 2018.

“Moving forward, we see real opportunities to solidify career and technical education pathways that lead to higher wage jobs directly from high school,” said Dr. Brumley. “Also, we must capitalize on possibilities to further connect our high schools and universities through our Dual Enrollment programming.”

Last year’s announcement that the the number of high school graduates rate exceeded 80% sparked a gathering of state leaders on the steps of the Louisiana Capitol to celebrate the state finally meeting a target that, while low by national standards, was the goal of a 2009 state law.

The Louisiana graduation rate was 67.2% in 2010 and 77.5% in 2015. The national average for the graduating class of 2018 was 85%, the latest data available, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

The Louisiana Department of Education has made a library of data available to the public in their High School Performance library on the Department’s website.

As Dr. Brumley stated, “”The graduation and credential data released today will most certainly factor into the development of our short and long term goals. It’s our mission to ensure every student is career or college ready when they leave our schools.”

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