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APS graduation rate drops for 2019, one high school reaches 100%

Atlanta Public School Superintendent Meria Carstarphen offers a hug to a student as she receives her diploma at the 2015 commencement ceremony for the Coretta Scott King Young Women's Academy High School and The Business Engineering Science and Technology (BEST) Academy .  (Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Special to the AJC)
Atlanta Public School Superintendent Meria Carstarphen offers a hug to a student as she receives her diploma at the 2015 commencement ceremony for the Coretta Scott King Young Women's Academy High School and The Business Engineering Science and Technology (BEST) Academy . (Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Special to the AJC)

Credit: Akili-Casundria Ramsess

Credit: Akili-Casundria Ramsess

The graduation rate for the Atlanta Public Schools class of 2019 dipped slightly compared to last year.

The district's four-year graduation rate is 77.9% for 2019, down from 79.9% in 2018.

APS graduation rates have gone up since 2012, when the state changed how it calculates the rates.

The district reported that 2,506 students graduated on time in 2019, out of a cohort of 3,215 students. Last year, the district graduated 2,438 students on time out of a cohort of 3,050 students. In 2012, the APS graduation rate was 50.8 percent.

“While our rate declined slightly from our all-time high last year, we are encouraged that our efforts are continuing to yield results for kids and producing much stronger outcomes than just five years ago. There is no question, however, that there is much more work to be done to ensure that all students are on the path to graduation,” said Superintendent Meria Carstarphen in a written statement.

The state released graduation rate data on Wednesday. APS continues to lag behind the statewide average of 82%.

Eight of Atlanta’s 17 high schools saw their graduation rate go up this year compared to the previous year. Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy made the biggest gain, increasing its graduation rate 6.5 percentage points and achieving a 100% on-time graduation rate in 2019.

The two Atlanta high schools with the biggest decreases are Mays and Douglass high schools. Mays High School’s graduation rate dropped by 6.4 percentage points to 71.8%. Douglass High School’s graduation rate dropped by 6.2 percentage points to 63.7%.