Georgia's New Graduation Rate Calculation
04/10/2012 Georgia Announces New Four-year High School Graduation Rate
The Georgia State Department of Education (GADOE) has announced the new four-year high school graduation rate. Adhering to a 2008 update to federal education regulations, the Georgia Department of Education today released the new, four-year public high school graduation rate -- 67.4%. The new calculation, known as the adjusted cohort rate, will allow states to uniformly compare graduation rates across the nation.
GADOE Four-year Adjusted Cohort High Schools Graduation Rate FAQ
New this year, Georgia has changed how the high school graduation rate is calculated to the federal four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, or "cohort rate." Previously, Georgia has used the "leaver rate" to calculate high school graduation. The leaver rate provided an estimate of the percentage of students who entered ninth grade and graduated four years later and may include those who took five years to graduate.
The new cohort rate is calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years and includes adjustments for student transfers. By using Georgia's new student information system that provides a unique identifying number for each student, the state can now track student movement from school to school. By changing to the cohort rate, the state now has a more accurate count.
Directly comparing the new cohort rate to the previously used leaver rate does show that fewer students are graduating in four years than previously thought. However, this is not an actual drop in graduates and is similar to other states that are switching from an estimate to the actual count. It is also important to note that the overall percentage of high school graduates is improving over time. Consistently using the leaver rate calculation method, Georgia has seen its graduation rate increase by 18 percentage points since 2003. This does demonstrate real improvement. However, the release of the new cohort rate shows there are still improvements that need to be made.
Source: Dana Rickman, Policy and Research Director
Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education
- U.S. Department of Education, High School Graduation Rate, Non-regulatory Guidance (2008): http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/hsgrguidance.pdf
- No Child Left Behind - Summary of Final Title I Regulations (2008): http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/reg/title1/summary.pdf