The Tennessee Department of Education last week released the graduation rate for 2019-2020.

Of the 2019-2020 cohort, more than a third of districts improved their graduation rates, and 89.6% graduated on time with a regular diploma, a slight dip of 0.1% compared to the previous year. 

In Metro Nashville Public Schools, the district’s graduation rate as a whole decreased to 79.6% last school year from 80.4% the previous year.

McGavock High School’s rate decreased slightly from 82.4% to 82.3%.

Access the 2019-20 graduation rate data at

Each year, there is a critical time period from about March through August when schools help students complete credits and meet graduation requirements. Last school year in those critical months, there were significant COVID-19 disruptions that may have impacted how students received essential supports. 

“Tennessee has set high expectations for students and educators, and we recognize their hard work and achievements despite a global pandemic, but any dip in graduation rate is highly concerning,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “As we look for ways to improve, we will continue to partner with districts and use data to help inform strategies for setting students on a path to success.”

For the school year, the most notable takeaways in the state were:

• 69 districts improved their graduation rates from 2019 to 2020.  

• 58 districts graduated 95% or more of their cohorts.

• 37 schools had graduation rates of 100%.

Six districts improved by 5% or more – Dyersburg City Schools, Fayetteville City Schools, Hardeman County Schools, Obion County Schools, Weakley County Schools and West Carroll Special School District.

A total of 529 fewer students graduated in the 2020 cohort compared to last year, for a total of 64,514. 

The most notable takeaways from the student groups statewide for the 2019-20 school year were:

• 36 districts improved the students with disabilities student group by 5% or more. Overall, the students with disabilities student group improved from 72.5% for the 2018-2019 school year to 73.1% for 2019-2020.

• While 23 districts improved the economically disadvantaged student group by 5% or more, the overall student group slightly declined from 82.9% to 82.7% for 2019-2020.

• 14 districts improved the Black-Hispanic-Native American student group by 5% or more. Moreover, the student group slightly declined from 83.7% in 2018-2019 to 82.9% for 2019-2020.

• Five districts improved the English learner student group by 5% or more. Overall, the English learner student group declined from 71.9% for 2018-2019 to 68.6% for the 2019-2020 cohort.

For more information on graduation rates for individual districts and schools, visit the department’s data downloads webpage.  

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