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DeKalb graduation rates mixed
by LaTria Garnigan
December 23, 2013 12:36 PM | 2334 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Georgia Department of Education recently released the 2013-14 year cohort graduation rate. Georgia’s 2013 public high school graduation rate increased almost 2 percentage points from the preview year — from 69.7 percent in 2012 to 71.5 percent in 2013 — and more than 4 percentage points from 2011, 67.5 percent. This is the third year the state has calculated the graduation rate using the adjusted cohort rate formula.

Decatur High School, the only high school in the City Schools of Decatur system, had the highest 2013 averages of the metro Atlanta area with 93.9 percent.

“Once again, our students and staff are proving that their hard work is paying off,” said Superintendent Phyllis Edwards. “Our district is continuing to live up to our vision that City Schools of Decatur will be one of the top 10 community school districts in the nation.” High Schools in the DeKalb County School District showed mixed results. The nine high schools in the DeKalb Neighbor coverage area show a mixture of graduation rates ranging from a high of 83 percent (Chamblee High School) to a low of 42.4 (Cross Keys High School).

“Under a more rigorous calculation method, the trend still shows that the percentage of our high school students graduating increases year to year,” said State School Superintendent John Barge, in a statement. “Despite the economic challenges our districts are facing, we have more high school students graduating today that we ever have before, which is a testament to the hard work of our students and teachers. We must continue our progress to ensure all students cross the finish line, because without a high school diploma, their options are very limited.”

According to the Department of Education, the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate defines the cohort based on when a student first becomes a freshman. The rate is calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years and includes adjustments for student transfers. In contrast, Georgia’s former graduation rate calculation defined the cohort upon graduation, which may have included students who took more than four years to graduate from high school. The U.S. Department of Education requires all 50 states to use the cohort rate to calculate graduates.

Though there are many points of data that can be used to measure the quality of a school, a school’s graduation rate reflects the work of an entire school system and its commitment to student success. “At our opening day celebration several years ago, Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Edwards challenged the district faculty and staff to adopt a “whatever it takes” approach to our work,” said Decatur High School Principal Lauri McKain. “DHS’ rising graduation rate reflects that attitude — counselors, leaders, teachers, parents and the board are in a full-scale mobilization on behalf of all children. The supports that have been implemented over the past several years attend to the social, emotional and academic needs of the students in Decatur to ensure they are prepared for college and careers.”

For a complete list of graduation results, see page 2A of this week's print edition.
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