Georgia’s graduation rate has been revised downward to 67.4 percent based on a new and more uniform method of calculating how many of the nation’s students make it through high school in four years, it was announced Tuesday.
That’s 12.6 percentage points less than the 80-plus percent graduation rate that’s been celebrated in this state in recent years. But it’s also less than the tumble that some predicted would follow a new federal requirement that eliminates a hodge-podge of state formulas in favor of a single — and what most agree is a more accurate — method of calculating graduation rates.
From a Ga DOE press release:
“The new formula provides a more accurate, uniform look at how many students we are graduating from high school,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “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.”
Echoing that statement, Tara N. Tucci, a senior research and policy associate at the Washington-based advocacy group Alliance for Excellent Education, said, “It’s important that it gets out that these drops aren’t the result of a state doing worse. Now we have an accurate picture.”
Here’s the data in picture form.