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Paulding eyes graduation rate numbers
by Adam Elrod
aelrod@neighbornewspapers.com
June 19, 2013 10:11 AM | 1322 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After saying goodbye to the class of 2013, Paulding County School District officials are considering how to encourage more students to finish school after seeing graduation rates from the previous year.

Overall Paulding’s public high schools averaged a 75.49 percent rate in 2012, which is down from 76.01 percent in 2011, according to numbers provided by the Georgia Department of Education.

Superintendent Cliff Cole said seeing only three-quarters of students graduating is not acceptable.

“I think we have room to grow,” he said.

Paulding County High School showed growth even though it was the lowest scoring school at 73.19 percent. In 2011 the school only had a 61.9 percent rate.

Cole said he attributes the increase to the success of the School Improvement Grant given by the federal government. The grant has allowed the system to hire math and literacy coaches, he said.

Other rates listed by the state education department include Hiram High School, 75.79 percent, an increase from 73.80 in 2011; South Paulding High School 78.52, a dip from 81.40; North Paulding High School, 73.88, a decrease from 83.45; and East Paulding High School, 78.3, an increase from 74.65.

Director of Counselors Susan Goethe said some students are not graduating on time because they either have not passed an End Of Course Test or Georgia High School Graduation Test.

Students must pass the graduation test or an End Of Course Test in the four core areas of math, English, social studies and science, and pass the writing graduation test. Before 2012 students did not have an option of which one they could pass.

Goethe said, “I think that is something the state has done that has helped.”

Cole said studies show students also are not graduating because they are either bored in school, or feel like the schools do not care.

“I think as a district we have to make sure students know we do care about them,” he said.

Cole said he believes the new statewide College and Career Ready Performance Index will help in both areas because the district will be taking an interest in what the child wants to learn.

Students now will start planning for their careers in the fifth grade, according to information from the district. They start off by choosing from 17 different career clusters, and then present a portfolio of their ideal jobs to their teachers.

This grows as students take an interest profile test, explore three clusters and create a graduation plan all in middle school.

These methods continue through high school.
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