The figures released by Gov. Bush show a much different story than the ones compiled by Morgan Quitno press and released two weeks ago.
The Morgan Quitno rankings put Florida dead last in graduation rates for the second year in a row, but the state figures released today show a 71.9 percent graduation rate. That's more high schoolers graduating last year than ever before. The state claims its calculations are more accurate than the Morgan Quitno survey.
So what do the numbers mean?
The 2004-2005 school year show a 0.3 percent rise in the state average to 71.9 percent. Last year's graduation rate was 71.6 percent.
Northwest Florida boasts both the highest and lowest county graduation rates in the state. Calhoun County came in first with 94.3 percent of their high school seniors graduating in the 2004-2005 school year.
Gulf County was second with a 91.4 percentage. Liberty County was high at 90.4. Gadsden County had the lowest graduation rate in the state at 45.9 percent, though it did increase 2.8 percent from the year before.