Georgia’s high school graduation rate climbs to 81.6 percent





Georgia’s high school graduation rate ticked up once again in 2018 to 81.6 percent.

That reflects a one percentage point increase from the class of 2017, according to data released Wednesday by the Georgia Department of Education.

The statewide graduation rate has climbed from 69.7 percent in 2012, the first year Georgia began using a federal measure to calculate rates.

In metro Atlanta, five of the six largest school districts also increased their graduation rates over last year. Fulton County Schools held its graduation rate steady at 86.8 percent, above the graduation rates of Atlanta at 79.9 percent, Clayton at 71.7 percent, Cobb at 85.2 percent, DeKalb at 75 percent and Gwinnett at 81.7 percent.

State School Superintendent Richard Woods credited a myriad of programs that give high schoolers “more opportunities than ever before” for the success.

“From career, technical, and agricultural education to dual enrollment to the fine arts, there is an unprecedented emphasis on supporting the whole child and making sure every single student understands the relevance of what they’re learning. I’m confident we’ll continue to see these gains as long as we’re still expanding opportunities that keep students invested in their education,” he said, in a written statement.

Six years ago, Georgia began to use what is called a “four-year adjusted cohort” calculation to compute graduation rate. The method counts students who earn a diploma within four years of entering high school. It also requires districts to track students who transfer out of their system.

The state's graduation rate fell drastically when the new calculation was first implemented, but has steadily climbed since 2012.

Metro Atlanta graduation rates: 

District 2018 2017 

Atlanta 79.9 77

Clayton 71.7 69.6

Cobb 85.2 83.6

DeKalb 75 74

Fulton 86.8 86.8

Gwinnett 81.7 80.9