The beneficent overlords at the Department of Education (the one in D.C., not the one in Downtown Atlanta) released statistics on Tuesday that found one third of all Georgia high school students did not graduate on time.
So what’s the good news in that? Well we were beat by Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and South Carolina, who all had substantially better graduation rates than our fair state leaving us not last… but 48th in the country. Eat our dust New Mexico and Nevada! (And D.C. and the Bureau of Indian Education).
What hurts Georgia’s ranking is its acute failure to graduate students with disabilities and students with limited English. Only three out of 10 students in those two categories graduates, putting us well behind most of the nation.
I suppose this really shouldn’t be news as we’ve always been a perennial contender for the worst-performing academic state in the country but I’d say it is close to a crisis point, if we’re not already there. What has caused Georgia to languish at the bottom, rarely moving out of the bottom five in any category, for over a decade? If there is a sign of continual across-the-board utter failure I’d say that’s it. And I’m not sure there’s a silver bullet either.
One thing that stuck out to me with the news is that the DoE is using new standards to calculate four-year graduation rates. Apparently in the past, states used a “hodgepodge” of different ways to calculate four-year graduation rates, which prompted the question: am I missing something? Like, either you complete high school and earn a diploma/equivalence four years after you start HS or you don’t. Right?
Speaking of low marks and Georgia… Lake Lanier is at its lowest point since the 2007-09 drought.