Grad rate drops from 74.1% to 58.8% as GA changes the 2011 calculation

The Georgia Department of Education has released today schools and school systems’ graduation rates for 2011 (last year) based on a different formula from the one the state used in the past.  Under the “leaver” graduation rate in place last year, Griffin-Spalding‘s rate was 74.1 percent. Under the new cohort rate, that rate became 58.82 percent. While the number who actually graduate hasn’t changed, the graduation rate itself paints an entirely different picture.

The projected cohort graduation rate for 2011-12 is 63.68 percent. The projected dropout rate for 2011-12 is 7.21 percent.

  Leaver Graduation Rate Cohort Graduation Rate Difference Cohort students active, graduated, or transferred in 2011-2012
State 80.9% 67.4% -13.5  
System 74.1% 58.8% -15.3 46
AZKA 25.0% 10.47% -14.5 23
GHS 73.5% 61.70% -11.8 11
SHS 88.8% 68.88% -19.9 12

Denise Burrell, Deputy Superintendent for Instruction said, “The new cohort graduation rate calculation is disheartening to those students who can and do graduate from high school, although not in four years.

“There are currently 46 students who are not dropouts, are still in school or graduated during this year and who were counted as first time ninth graders in 2007. Yet because they didn’t graduate in 2011, they negatively impact the graduation rate.

“They still graduate with a bono fide high school diploma and walk the field at graduation because they earned it.

“They are graduates – they just don’t count under the new graduation rate calculation.

“Like the Georgia Department of Education, which is adhering to updated federal regulations that require comparison among states using identical formulas, we too want the best data available for Griffin-Spalding students to help them succeed in school and in life.

“We can’t and won’t give up on students who may be behind. There will still be credit recovery opportunities to help students stay on track and catch up. Our job is to educate and graduate more than these numbers show.  We need everyone’s help to be able to do that.”

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