Georgia’s high school graduation rate improved in 2012. But it’s not enough, according to the state superintendent. In 2012, the rate was 69.7 percent. That’s up from 67.4 percent the year before.
The state now measures the high school graduation rate by the number of students who start high school together, and the number of students who finish four years later. State education officials say the new formula takes better account of dropouts.
But Joseph Noel, Director of Assessment and Accountability for Bibb County schools, says that is one of the reasons Bibb County’s graduation rate was just 52 percent last year.
He says “We’re a very transient community. Often students move in and out of our district more often than other districts, I would think.” And while the graduation rate hasn't risen in Bibb County, Noel says there are some hopeful signs. "Our writing scores are going up. Our overall scores are going up in terms of student performance." Noel says Bibb County is trying to offer more career ready and college ready courses to help more students complete high school.
State Superintendent John Barge says Georgia needs to work its way up from near the bottom in state graduation rates. “We can’t have a one size fits all mentality of our kids. " he says. "So we have to look at that. Make sure we’re giving students the educational experience or opportunities that they really need to be successful.”
Barge says Georgia students have to complete more coursework in order to graduate than students in most other states.
Eight school systems in the state posted graduation rates above 90 percent.
You can check out how your child's school did by clicking here