The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) received an 83% on its annual report card for the second year in a row, yet the graduate rate decreased by almost 9%. 

The ALSDE overall score is derived from scores in six federal accountability indicators, including academic achievement, academic growth, graduation rate, progress in English language proficiency, chronic absenteeism and college and career readiness.

The 2022-2023 school year saw both improvements and regressions from the previous school year. Though the ALSDE academic achievement score improved by 2.17% to reach 61.75%, academic growth by 6.57% to reach 97.25%, college and career readiness by 35.51% to reach 79.07% and progress in English language proficiency by 26.1% to reach 43.96%, the graduation rate decreased by 8.87% from 97.18% in 2022 to 88.21% in 2023. 

Earlier this year, ALSDE released preliminary statistics suggesting the graduate rate would be around the same. After a miscommunication from ALSDE personnel, the department clarified that the report card for 2023 indicates the graduate rate for the Class of 2022, even though the reporting year is labeled “2022-2023.”

Members of the Class of 2022 were in school during the COVID-19 pandemic, which ALSDE director of communications Michael Sibley cited in March as a potential reason for the decline in the graduation rate.

Meanwhile, the 83% graduation rate still remains higher than graduation rates in neighboring Georgia (84.4%), yet lower than others, such as Tennessee (90.6%). 

Florida and Mississippi are yet to release their 2022-2023 graduation rate, but Florida’s graduation rate for the 2021-2022 reporting year is 87.3% and Mississippi’s is 88.9%.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email [email protected] or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.