ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Education released updated graduation rate numbers on Tuesday.
According to the DOE, graduation rates have historically been measured using varying methods, resulting in inconsistent data from state to state.
“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."
Using the old method of calculation, which included students who took more than four years to graduate, Georgia’s graduation rate would have been 80.9 percent.
The DOE said the new numbers will be used for federal accountability purposes.
“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 said. “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.”
Read the complete DOE news release here.