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Tim Howard
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THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RELEASED FIGURES ON GRADUATION RATES IN THE STATE LAST WEEK, AND THE RATE IN SARASOTA COUNTY APPEARS TO BE ON THE RISE EVEN FASTER THAN THE STATE’S IS.  THE REPORT SAYS THAT 84.3% OF STUDENTS GRADUATED IN THE 2009-10 SCHOOL YEAR, UP FROM 80.5% IN 2008-09.  AMONG THE SOUTHWEST PLEX SCHOOLS, VENICE HIGH SAW THEIR RATE GO UP 4.1% TO 89.1% IN THE LAST SCHOOL YEAR, WHILE NORTH PORT HIGH HAD AN EVEN GREATER INCREASE, FROM 82.5% IN 08-09 TO 88.1% LAST YEAR.  THE PINE VIEW SCHOOL WAS THE ONLY SCHOOL TO SEE THEIR PERCENTAGE DROP.  THEY HAD 100% OF THEIR STUDENTS GRADUATE IN 08-09.  THE NUMBER LAST YEAR WAS 97.8%.  THE STATE’S GRADUATION RATE JUMPED ALMOST 3%, FROM 76.3 TO 79%.  AS FOR THE DROP-OUT RATES, THE COUNTY WAS PACING WITH THE STATE AVERAGE OF 2% LAST YEAR WHICH WAS SLIGHTLY HIGHER THAN IN 08-09.