In the annual “Diplomas Count” study conducted by Education Week, Fort Smith Public Schools ranked first among large school districts in Arkansas for its high school graduation rate. With 81.7% of students graduating, Fort Smith’s ranking beat both the national and state average by ten points or more. This is the third consecutive year that the District has received national recognition for higher than expected graduation statistics.
The designation is based on 2008 class data and includes graduates of both Northside and Southside High Schools. Based on district size, student demography and other factors, FSPS also exceeded the survey’s predicted performance score.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Benny L. Gooden said, “High school graduation is the prerequisite for either a good career or higher education. This result is due to the work of our schools at all levels as well as those FSPS departments and community agencies who help to keep students in school. While the FSPS graduation rate is better than most, it still tells us that there is work to do as we attempt to make high school completion the norm for all our students.”
According to Education Week, “The Diplomas Count” study tracks graduation policies for all 50 states and the District of Columbia and presents an updated analysis of graduation patterns for the nation, states, and the country’s 50 largest school systems.