Local schools had mixed results when the Georgia Department of Education released its 2013 public high school graduation rates last week. Only half of the four local schools had rates above the statewide average.
Atlanta Public Schools’ North Atlanta, in Buckhead, led the way with a rate of 80.2 percent. Fulton County Schools’ North Springs and Riverwood, both in Sandy Springs, were lower at 71.9 percent and 67.8 percent, respectively. Cobb County Schools’ Campbell, in Smyrna but serving Vinings students, rounded out the list at 66.3 percent.
District-wide, graduation rates were 58.6 percent for Atlanta, 76.5 percent for Cobb and 75.5 percent for Fulton.
Statewide the rate increased almost two percentage points over the previous year, from 69.7 percent to 71.5 percent in 2013, and more than four percentage points from 2011 (67.5 percent). This is the third year Georgia has calculated the graduation rate using the adjusted cohort rate formula.
“Under a more rigorous calculation method, the trend still shows that the percentage of our high school students graduating increases year to year,” State School Superintendent John Barge said in a statement. “Despite the economic challenges our districts are facing, we have more high school students graduating today than we have had in several years, 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.”
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.
Editor’s note: The following chart lists graduation rates for each school, provided by the Georgia Department of Education.
School Seniors Graduated Pct.
Atlanta Public Schools
North Atlanta 313 251 80.2
Cobb County Schools
Campbell 615 408 66.3
Fulton County Schools
North Springs 405 291 71.9
Riverwood 459 318 67.8