Three of the four local, public high schools last year graduated more students in four years than Georgia high schools on average, but along with the state's graduation rate, those of local systems and schools fell with a new calculation.
Georgia Department of Education yesterday released 2011 graduation rates under the new adjusted-cohort method, part of push for consistent data across the country.
“The new formula provides a more accurate, uniform look at how many students we are graduating from high school,” State School Superintendent John Barge said in a press release. "I believe that in order to tackle a problem you have to have honest and accurate data. We will be able to use this new data as a baseline to see how our important initiatives are impacting graduation rates in the future. We’ve known for some time and communicated that this new formula would show a lower graduation rate than the rate under the previous formula; however, regardless of calculation formula, the state has significantly raised graduation rates over the last several years, but there is still much work to do."
Cartersville High School was the only local school to top the state's 2011 traditional graduation rate, but with new rates, two of the three high schools in Bartow's school system rose above the average of Georgia high schools. With the traditional calculation, all three were below the average.
Cass High is the only in Bartow and Cartersville to remain below the state average with the new calculation, which lowered the graduation rates of all the local high schools.
|2011 Cohort Graduation Rate||2011 Traditional Grad Rate|
|Bartow County Schools||66.2|
|Adairsville High School||68.9||76.8|
|Woodland High School||68.0||75.0|
|Cass High School||64.1||76.2|
|Cartersville City Schools||76.2|
|Cartersville High School||78.0||85.6|
The new rates are calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years and include adjustments for student transfers. The old method may include students who take more than four years to graduate from high school.
“We know that not all students are the same and not all will graduate from high school in four years, so we asked for the U.S. Department of Education’s permission to use a five-year cohort graduation rate for federal accountability purposes,” Barge added in the release. “Ultimately, our goal is to ensure each child will graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and a career, regardless of how long it takes.”