“It’s great that 71 percent of our students are successfully finishing high school, but that also means more than a quarter of our students are being left behind. That’s not acceptable,” Superintendent Robert Avossa said in a statement. “One of our strategic focuses is to increase graduation rates to 90 percent by 2017.”
Roswell High School and Independence High School saw significant rate increases. At Roswell, 68.6 percent of seniors graduated in 2011 compared to 81.5 percent in 2012, while at Independence, 38.6 percent graduated in 2011 compared to 51.9 percent in 2012.
Centennial, Johns Creek and Northview high schools reported gains between 5 to 7 percentage points between the two years. Chattahoochee High School and Fulton Science Academy saw graduate rate increases between 1 and 4 percentage points. At Alpharetta High School and Milton High School, the graduation rates dropped slightly.
In 2011, 85.8 Alpharetta seniors graduated compared to 85.7 percent the next year. At Milton, 96.5 seniors graduated in 2011 while 96.4 graduated the following year.
Last year, Fulton County, as well as all school systems in Georgia, began calculating graduation rates using a new formula known as the “adjusted cohort rate.”
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.