Lakeway Area schools graduation rates higher than state average

September 17, 2017 – Schools in the Lakeway Region are graduating at a much higher rate then the state average.

Numbers released by the Tennessee Department of Education last week show most counties in the area graduate about five points higher than the state average of 89.1 percent.  Hamblen County schools had a 94.1 percent graduation rate for the 2016-17 academic year.  But school administrators think they can do better.

“It’s kind of a mixed reaction on mypart,” said Buddy Smith, assistant director of schools for curriculum and academics.  “We were 94% last year.  We want to get to 95% with both high schools.”

Around the region, other Lakeway districts also did well with Hawkins County at a 97 percent graduation rate, Jefferson County at 95.9 percent, Grainger County at 94.5 percent and Cocke County at 93.4 percent.

For comparison, other East Tennessee counties posted lower numbers:  Knox County had 90.3%, Oak Ridge had 88.3% and Sevier County posted 87.4% graduation rates.  Bristol had a 93.2 percent graduation rate and Johnson City posted 91.8 percent.

For smith, he said Hamblen County schools are trying to connect with post-secondary education more to help increase the numbers.  He said the school system is also starting to promote and lean on the Career & Technical Education program more to help increase rates.  He said he is optimistic about getting to 95 percent next year.

“I’m very optimistic,” he said.  “I don’t know why we wouldn’t do it.”  But, he also admitted it will take more on the part of the school system.  “To get that one percent, you have to work a little harder,” Smith said.

– from the Citizen Tribune

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