2015 Graduation Rates

2015 4 year cohort graduation rates are out.  Where does your school rank?

The DeKalb County School District graduation rate is up nearly 10% from last year. “We are headed in the right direction with improved graduation rates because of our laser focus on student achievement,” Superintendent Steve Green said. “Much more work needs and will be done to ensure our students are ready for career and college opportunities.”

Social Promotion
There is no doubt, the biggest reason for the significant increase in the graduation rate is social promotion combined with the elimination of the GHSGT (Georgia High School Graduation Test).  As discussed here, “Student Promotion – Whose Decision Is It?“,  the state never enforced standards saying, “students in grades three, five and eight won’t have to perform at grade level on the reading portion of the test to be promoted. Fifth- and eighth-graders also won’t have to perform at grade level on the math portion to be promoted.”

Now that we have eliminated the GHSGT, we can now socially promote students all the way through graduation.  This is much to the chagrin of Byron Merritt, President SW DeKalb High School PTSA. In a statement to the board in July ’14, Merritt said, “We have 88 9th grade students coming to SW DeKalb HS on waivers this August. We have 80 9th grade and 10th grade students not reading on grade level.“

Georgia high school graduation rates jump in 2015
By Ty Tagami – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s 2015 graduation rate grew 6 percentage points from the prior year to 78.8 percent, an all-time high under the most recent way of counting those who earned diplomas.

School officials say they raised the rates using new data systems to identify struggling kids early and then intervene the old-fashioned way, by talking to them and getting them help.

The graduation rate also got a bump as the state phased out the Georgia High School Graduation Test, which was an obstacle for thousands of students. It was retired in March under a new law. Also, schools say they have optimized the way the way they calculate graduation rates under a 2011 federal formula.

Hidden Forces
By: DunwoodyOwl

The schools that were doing well before, and by that I mean schools that had graduation rates higher than 75% in 2014 (which is hardly what I would call “doing well”, but that’s another topic), showed almost no increase in the latest graduation rates. Chamblee went from 84% to 86%. Redan went from 80% to 81%. Lakeside from 77% to 80%. Arabia Mountain and Dunwoody both dropped a percentage point. What that tells us is that the end of year test wasn’t really a factor before in these schools, and whatever internal factors that may exist only move the needle a few percentage points. This is consistent with prior years’ behavior.

The big changes occurred in those schools that were not performing as well in the past. Leaving aside some of the schools where the small numbers of students can cause statistical anomalies, we still have Tucker jumping 18 percentage points from 69% to 87%. We see Columbia increasing by 14 points from 62% to 76%, Towers by 16 points from 54% to 70%. Miller Grove went from 60% to 80%….an increase of 20 points!

Graduation Rates Total Grads
Rank School 2012 2013 2014 2015 2015
All Schools 57% 59% 62% 71% 5046
1 DeKalb School of the Arts 92% 98% 100% 100% 54
2 Dekalb Early College Academy 95% 97% 100% 98% 86
3 Arabia Mountain 90% 97% 98% 97% 278
4 Tucker High School 78% 63% 69% 87% 316
5 Chamblee Charter 82% 83% 84% 86% 221
6 Redan 78% 73% 80% 81% 237
7 Lakeside 65% 72% 77% 80% 388
8 McNair 47% 46% 52% 59% 296
9 Druid Hills 69% 68% 76% 79% 339
10 Dunwoody 77% 74% 79% 78% 314
11 Cedar Grove 64% 64% 73% 77% 161
12 Columbia 60% 60% 62% 76% 219
13 Destiny Achievers Academy 32% 37% 58% 75% 40
14 Miller Grove 56% 60% 60% 80% 279
15 Stephenson 70% 62% 72% 73% 331
16 Southwest DeKalb 68% 68% 66% 73% 253
17 Lithonia 46% 57% 67% 72% 224
18 Towers 47% 44% 54% 70% 202
19 Stone Mountain 65% 60% 59% 67% 198
20 Clarkston 44% 53% 52% 65% 241
21 Martin Luther King, Jr. 55% 71% 65% 74% 129
22 Cross Keys 51% 42% 47% 56% 179
23 Gateway to College Academy 7% 3% 10% 33% 12
24 Elizabeth Andrews 14% 11% 9% 18% 42
25 DeKalb Alternative School 2% 1% 4% 11% 7

2 responses to “2015 Graduation Rates

  1. Good to see positive trends. For those that do not realize it, the phrase, “adjusted for transfers into and out of the school, district, or state,” does not include any students in the cohort who simply do not file withdrawal forms and leave the state. For some migrant families that follow service and construction related jobs out of Georgia, this is not likely an insignificant number.

  2. Agreed. Migrant families that follow service and construction related jobs in Texas are also quite significant. Texas manages an 88% graduation state wide despite their enormous migrant family population.