Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts leads the way among Hamilton County high schools with a 100% graduation rate during the 2017-18 school year. The Howard School is listed at the low end of the scale with a 71 percent graduation rate.  Here is the complete list:

  • Center for Creative Arts 100%
  • Collegiate High (Chatt. State) 98.1%
  • Chatt. School for Arts & Sciences 98%
  • Ivy Academy  97.1%
  • STEM School 95.3%
  • Signal Mountain High 95.1%
  • Sale Creek High 94.2%
  • Lookout Valley High 92.9%
  • East Hamilton High 92.6%
  • Tyner Academy 89.6%
  • Chatt. Girls Leadership 89.3%
  • Soddy Daisy High 87.4%
  • Sequoyah High 86.7%
  • East Ridge High 86%
  • Ooltewah High 84.9%
  • Central High 84.8%
  • Hixson High 84.8%
  • Hamilton Co. High 81.7%
  • Brainerd High 81.2%
  • Red Bank High 78.5%
  • Howard High 71.1%

Here is the statement from Hamilton County schools:

"Hamilton County Schools has posted the highest graduation rate since the state changed the graduation rate calculation in 2011.  The district increased the graduation rate almost two points at 86.5 percent up from 84.6 percent in 2017. The district also moved closer to the state graduation rate in the latest report released today by the Tennessee Department of Education.  Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced the 2017-18 high school graduation rate with the state held steady versus last year at 89.1 percent.

Hamilton County Schools improved the graduation rate as the state raised the bar by requiring participation in the ACT or SAT as a graduation requirement for Tennessee students.  This year’s results are the first to reflect this change in accountability by the State Board of Education.

“We have accomplished our community’s highest graduation rate even as the state is holding students to higher expectations,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “The graduation rate is one of many indicators of success for a school district and the latest to show the progression of Hamilton County Schools to becoming the fastest improving school district in Tennessee.”

The state also recently released the district accountability and school designations. These results are part of the first year of the implementation of the revised Tennessee district, and school accountability model under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which now includes multiple measures of success. 

Hamilton County Schools earned a Satisfactory rating – which was a result of progress for both all students and student subgroups. The district’s performance reflects a need to focus on student groups and accelerating achievement for those students who are furthest behind.

The district also had 17 schools earn Reward school status in the 2018 Reward and Priority schools announcement by the state.  Reward status is the top distinction a school can earn in Tennessee.  Reward schools demonstrate improvement or high performance across five indicators for both all students and student groups: (1) Achievement, (2) Growth, (3) Chronic Absenteeism, (4) Ready Graduates, and (5) English learner language proficiency.  These five indicators also formed the basis for district accountability.

The Hamilton County Board of Education’s Future Ready 2023 action plan has set the stage for continued academic improvement as the plan provides goals and landmarks on the journey to reaching the academic achievement levels the community desires for its schools.  The district plan has led to department plans and individual school plans to support moving the district forward.  Plans focus on academic improvement for each school and each child.  Future Ready 2023 action areas include accelerating student achievement across the district, providing future-ready students prepared for success after graduation, staffing our schools with great teachers and leaders, engaging the community in the education process, and providing efficient and effective operations to deliver high-quality education for our children.

“The improvement we see is encouraging and moving our schools in the right direction, but we are not satisfied,” Dr. Johnson added. “The mission for Hamilton County Schools is to have more graduates walking across the stage to receive a high school diploma prepared for success for themselves and their family.”

Here is the statement from the Tennessee Department of Education:

"Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced that the 2017-18 high school graduation rate held steady at 89.1 percent, which is the highest graduation rate on record for Tennessee. This year, more than 56 percent of districts with high schools saw their graduation rates improve when compared to last year’s rates.

“Our schools and districts should be proud that once again we have hit our state’s highest graduation rate on record while still holding our students to high expectations,” Commissioner McQueen said. “By continuing to raise the expectations, we are signaling that Tennessee students are leaving high school with the knowledge and skills to be successful in college and the workforce. This graduation rate is a testament to the work being done by teachers and students in schools across the state.”

Under the Haslam administration, Tennessee has set high expectations for both students and educators, and students have made significant gains as a result. As part of this work, the state transitioned to a more rigorous calculation for graduation rates in 2011, and even under the new criteria, rates have continued to rise.

Additionally, the state raised the bar for graduation expectations when the State Board of Education included participation in the ACT or SAT as a graduation requirement for Tennessee students.  This year’s results are the first to reflect this change in accountability.

For the 2017-18 school year, the most notable gains and overall achievements in the state are:

  • 9 districts improved their graduation rates by 5 percentage points or more. The districts with the most significant gains were Union City (9.4 percentage points), Richard City (8.7 percentage points), Van Buren County (8.4 percentage points), Sequatchie County (7.6 percentage points), and Bledsoe County (6.5 percentage points).
  • 44 districts—over one-third of the districts in the state with high schools—have graduation rates at or above 95 percent, up from last year.
  • 106 districts—nearly 81 percent of the districts in the state—have graduation rates at or above 90 percent, up from 98 districts last year. Richard City, Oneida SSD, Alcoa City, and Morgan County all had graduation rates at or above 99 percent.
  • 22 schools across 15 districts had graduation rates of 100 percent."