Desoto County NewsMississippi News

Mississippi reaches another all-time high for high school graduations

DeSoto County Schools graduated over 94 percent of students in 2023

DeSoto County Schools (DCS) had a four-year graduation rate of 94.1 percent and a dropout rate of 5.2 percent in the Class of 2023, according to the new report released by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE).

At the same time, MDE reported the state’s graduation rate of 89.4 percent is another all-time high for the Magnolia State.  The dropout rate also decreased as a state to 8.5 percent.  

In the accountability report, MDE broke the DeSoto County Schools numbers down for the 2,580 students who were in ninth grade for the first time during the 2019-20 school year and then graduated from DCS high schools last May.  

Ninety-two percent of Asian students in DCS schools graduated, 95 percent of Black or African-American students, and 95.2 percent of Hispanic or Latino students received graduation diplomas. Of White or caucasian students, 93.6 percent of those students graduated and 80.2 percent of students with disabilities graduated.  

Among individual high schools in the district, Lewisburg reported the highest percentage of graduates at 99 percent and lowest percent of dropouts at one percent.  Horn Lake had the lowest percentage of graduates, but was still at 92.1 percent and had the highest percentage of dropouts at 7.6 percent.  Other DCS schools are (listed with graduation/dropout percentages): Center Hill (94.6/5.0), DeSoto Central (94.6/4.9), Hernando (93.9/4/5), Lake Cormorant (93.0/5.7), Olive Branch (95.5/4/1), Southaven (92.2/6.8).

MDE’s latest figures mark a continuing impressive trend for Mississippi’s public school students. The statewide graduation rate was 74.5 percent in 2013 and has increased annually. The rate does not include students who earned a GED or a certificate of completion.

Pandemic disruptions have affected the graduation rate in recent years. Due to COVID-19, passing requirements were waived for high school end-of-year assessments in Algebra I, English II, Biology and U.S. History in 2020-21. The waivers have had a positive impact on the graduation rate, but that impact should diminish for the 2023-24 school year.

Mississippi’s graduation rate exceeds the latest U.S. rate of 86.5 percent from 2019-20 reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The statewide dropout has decreased from 13.9 percent in 2013. The current dropout rate figures reflect a .5 percent decrease from 2021-22 and a 1.6 percent decrease among students with disabilities.

“The hard work of students, parents, teachers, counselors and administrators across Mississippi continues to produce outstanding outcomes,” said Dr. Raymond Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education. “The MDE is proud of our students’ continued achievements and remains committed to ensuring all students graduate ready for college and career success.”

CLICK HERE to see the complete report from the Mississippi Department of Education.