The Cobb County School District graduation rate grew slightly higher in the spring, according to figures released by the Georgia Department of Education.
The district’s four-year rate for 2019 is 86.98%, an 1.8-percentage point increase from 2018. Marietta City Schools, which only has one high school, had a graduation four-year rate of 75.73% in 2019, which is a .43 percentage point drop from 2018.
Graduation rates around the region include 87.2% for Fulton County, 80.9% for Gwinnett County, 78% for Atlanta Public Schools and 73.4% for DeKalb County. The state’s graduation rate graduation rate also inched higher to reach 82 percent in the spring.
“Using data to make decisions on how to best serve each student has led to a continued increase in the number of students who graduate,” said Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. “We are also succeeding at a faster rate when compared to the state graduation rate.”
The federal government in 2011 implemented a new rule that calculates the rates for all students who graduate within four years of entering high school, known as the four-year adjusted cohort rate. It also requires school districts to document graduations of students who leave a school.
Marietta City Schools notes its five-year graduation rate is 82.36%. It also said its graduation rate hovers at 93% for students who enter ninth grade and who remain enrolled at Marietta High School for four years.
The school system said it there are “areas in need of immediate improvement.” Government requirements make the high school responsible for tracking students who enroll for at least one day, and later withdraw and do not re-enroll in another school. To improve tracking of students who may leave the state or country, the system said it has changed its withdrawal procedures to “limit...the difficulties we face in tracking a student months or years later.”
“We remain committed to working hard to continuously improve so we can offer the very best high school experience to all our Marietta students and families,” the system said.
Cobb schools said four of its high schools all had graduation rates that exceeded 96%: Lassiter at 97.4%, Harrison at 97.2%, Walton at 96.9% and Pope at 96.3%. Three other schools also had rates that were higher than 90 percent: Kennesaw Mountain at 90.7%, Allatoona at 92.14% and Hillgrove at 93.6%.
Wheeler High School had the highest year-to-year increase in its graduation rate at 9.4 percentage points. It was followed by McEachern and Osborne high schools at 5.7 percentage points each and Kell High School at 5.6 percentage points.
Harrison High School principal Ashlynn Campbell said the school’s rate reflects its culture and relationship it has with students.
“Our entire faculty and staff, as well as our parents, are all deeply committed to the well-being and academic success of every student,” she said. “We are also thankful to our feeder schools who send us students who are well-prepared for the challenges of high school.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.