The National Center for Education Statistics released nationwide high school graduation rates this week. Georgia’s 2012-2013 graduation rate of 72 percent ties with Alaska’s and puts us in the bottom of the nation.
The only places with lower grad rates on the list are the District of Columbia with 62 percent, Oregon with 69, New Mexico with 70 and Nevada with 71.
Georgia’s rate is improving. In 2010-2011, the feds showed our high school graduation rate at 67 percent, so it advanced by five percentage points in two years.
We have a long way to go to catch up to top performing states. The top states for high school graduation are Iowa with a 90 percent rate, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin with 88 percent, and Indiana, New Hampshire and Vermont with 87.
As the state Department of Education notes, Georgia has imposed a higher bar for its students to graduate high school than some other states. For example, Georgia has the same requirements for all students, including special education students, to earn a regular diploma. In some states, special education students may earn a diploma if they complete their IEP.
We may hear some discussion in the General Assembly this session about whether the state needs to reconsider its high school graduation requirements.
Public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) for the United States, the 50 states and the District of Columbia: School years 2010-11 to 2012-13
|State||Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate|
|District of Columbia||59||59||62|
|— Not available.|
|1 The United States 4-year ACGR was estimated using both the reported 4-year ACGR data from reporting states and the District of Columbia and using imputed data for Idaho, Kentucky, and Oklahoma for school years 2010-11 and 2011-12, and imputed data for Idaho for school year 2012-13.|
|2 School year 2011-12 data for California, Hawaii, and Missouri were revised subsequent to the publication of these data in NCES 2014-391. The estimated United States ACGR includes these revisions.|
|3 The Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education approved a timeline extension for these states to begin reporting 4-year ACGR data, resulting in the 4-year ACGR not being available in one or more of the school years shown.|
|NOTE: The 4-year ACGR is the number of students who graduate in 4 years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. From the beginning of 9th grade (or the earliest high school grade), students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is “adjusted” by adding any students who subsequently transfer into the cohort and subtracting any students who subsequently transfer out, emigrate to another country, or die.|
|SOURCE: EDFacts/Consolidated State Performance Report, school years 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13,http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/consolidated/index.html. This table was prepared January 2015.|