TDOE Releases 2019-20 Graduation Rate Data

Thursday, September 17, 2020 | 03:56pm


Over Third of Districts Improved Graduation Rates from 2019 to 2020


Nashville, TN—This week, the Tennessee Department of Education released the graduation rate for the 2019-20 school year. Of the 2019-20 cohort, over a third of districts improved their graduation rates and 89.6 percent graduated on time with a regular diploma, a slight dip (0.1 percent) compared to last year.  

Access the 2019-20 graduation rate data here:

Each year, there is a critical time period from around March through August when schools help students complete credits and meet graduation requirements. This 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 2019-20 school year, the most notable takeaways in the state are: 

  • 69 districts improved their graduation rates from 2019 to 2020.   
  • 58 districts graduated 95 percent or more of their cohorts. 
  • 37 schools had graduation rates of 100 percent. 
  • Six districts improved by five percentage points or more—Dyersburg City Schools, Fayetteville City Schools, Hardeman County Schools, Obion County Schools, Weakley County Schools, and West Carroll Special School District. 
  • 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 are: 

  • 36 districts improved the Students with Disabilities student group by five percentage points or more. Overall, the Students with Disabilities student group improved from 72.5 percent for the 2018-19 school year to 73.1 percent for 2019-20. 
  • While 23 districts improved the Economically Disadvantaged student group by five percentage points or more, the overall student group slightly declined from 82.9 percent to 82.7 percent for 2019-20. 
  • 14 districts improved the Black/Hispanic/Native American student group by five percentage points or more. Moreover, this student group slightly declined from 83.7 percent in 2018-19 to 82.9 percent for the 2019-20 graduation cohort. 
  • Five districts improved the English Learner student group by five percentage points or more. Overall, the English learner student group declined from 71.9 percent for 2018-19 to 68.6 percent for the 2019-20 cohort. 

For more information on graduation rates for individual districts and schools, please visit the department’s Data Downloads webpage.  

For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact