(SAVANNAH) The high school graduation rate continues to rise in the Peach State and that trend is evident in Chatham County, the biggest public school system in the Coastal Empire. The Georgia Department of Education’s annual report on graduation rates reveals The Savannah Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) is getting more students to walk across the stage for commencement. SCCPSS has eleven high schools and all post some gains compared to last year’s graduation rates.
Statewide, the number of students who graduate high school is up, posting an increase of nearly a full percentage point. In a news release, Georgia’s DOE says their 2016 high school graduation rate rose for the fifth straight year, from 78.8 percent in 2015 to 79.2* percent. “The 2016 graduation rate shows our schools continue to make progress by offering students an education that is relevant, keeping more students in school and on a path to a better quality of life,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “As part of VISION 2020, we have a goal of exceeding the national average graduation rate by the year 2020, ensuring that more students will receive a meaningful high school diploma that prepares them for a successful and productive future.”
Moving forward, the GaDOE will be driven by VISION 2020, the expression of the GaDOE’s strategic plan that ensures we remain fully focused on supporting the needs of our children. As the agency moves forward in placing the child back into the center of Georgia’s education system, we will concentrate on providing high-quality service and support for schools and districts, so they’re able to offer a holistic education to each and every child in our state.
This is the sixth year Georgia has calculated the graduation rate using the adjusted cohort rate, which is now required by the U.S. Department of Education. The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate defines the cohort based on when a student first becomes a freshman; it is calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years and includes adjustments for student transfers. In contrast, Georgia’s former graduation rate calculation defined the cohort upon graduation, which may have included students who took more than four years to graduate.
All states now calculate the graduation rate using the same formula, but each state still sets its own requirements for students to earn a diploma. Georgia still has some of the highest requirements in the nation for students to graduate with a regular diploma.
*State Graduation Rates (79.2 percent is preliminary due to incomplete data from a few school districts. The state rate will be updated as soon as we have final data).