A new national report places Georgia’s high school graduation rate as one of the worst in the country and calls for federal action to fix what authors describe as a “crisis.”
The study, “Graduating America: Meeting the Challenge of Low Graduation-Rate High Schools,” was published by Jobs for the Future and the Everyone Graduates Center, a think tank at Johns Hopkins University.
This isn’t the first report to point out Georgia’s low graduation rates. Education Week publishes an annual report that routinely puts the state close to the bottom.
High schools with the lowest graduation rates tend to serve a larger percentage of minority students and children from low-income homes.
Georgia’s 2009 graduation rate was 77.8 percent, according to data from the Georgia Department of Education. The average for black students was 72.6 percent, while the rate for Hispanics was 69 percent. (These are corrected numbers. I had old data before.
But those figures may be too high. Georgia and other states use a formula that tends to undercount the number the dropouts. An improved formula is being developed.
Few people would disagree that Georgia needs to improve its graduation rate and its high schools. The issue is how.
What should be done at high schools and the elementary and middle schools to help more students graduate?