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GCPS grad rates improve but trail neighboring districts

GRADUATION RATES BY SCHOOL

Grayson 73.3 percent

Norcross 69.3

Mill Creek 84.4

GIVE West 1.2

Parkview 86.7

Brookwood 90.2

Shiloh 72.2

Meadowcreek 50.1

Phoenix 15.8

Collins Hill 82

GIVE East 0

Peachtree Ridge 85.2

Lanier 74.3

GSMST 100

Berkmar 55.4

Gwinnett Online Campus 43.6

Mountain View 81.4

Archer 74.6

South Gwinnett 78.9

Central Gwinnett 73.1

Dacula 80.6

North Gwinnett 91

Duluth 70.1

Barrow

Apalachee 78.9

Winder-Barrow 72.7

Buford

Buford 90.3

The percentage of graduating high school seniors in Gwinnett rose this year, but Buford City Schools recorded a spike in percentage of graduates.

The Georgia Department of Education on Wednesday released statewide graduation rates for the third year since it adopted a four-year nationwide formula based on when a student first becomes a freshman. Statewide figures rose two percentage points since last year as 71.5 percent of students graduated.

In Gwinnett County Public Schools, 72.7 percent of students graduated, while Buford City Schools reported a 90.3 graduation rate. Barrow County Schools graduated 72.1 percent of its students. By comparison, Forsyth County Schools had an 89.5 percent rate, Cobb County Schools were 76.5 percent, Fulton County Schools were 75.5 percent and Hall County Schools were 77.5 percent.

Kevin Tashlein, associate superintendent for school improvement and operations at GCPS, said the district is pleased with a five percent improvement over three years.

“We want to continue to improve,” Tashlein said. “We want to continue to find ways for every student to have an experience to graduate in four years.”

Tashlein said the district would look for practices that could be shared between schools, and focus on individual student support and needs and track students appropriately.

While the GCPS figure is an improvement from last year’s 70.9 percent graduation rate, Buford City Schools saw the largest local jump, up from 84.8 percent last year. Barrow graduated 67.9 percent of its students last year.

The cohort formula is calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years and includes adjustments for student transfers. Georgia’s former graduation rate calculation defined the cohort upon graduation, which may have included students who took more than four years to graduate from high school.

The U.S. Department of Education requires that every state uses the cohort rate to calculate graduates.

The top schools in the GCPS district are the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology (100 percent), North Gwinnett (91), Brookwood (90.2), Parkview (86.7), Peachtree Ridge (85.2) and Mill Creek (84.4). The lowest GCPS schools are GIVE East (zero), GIVE West (1.2), Phoenix (15.8) Gwinnett Online Campus (43.6) and Meadowcreek (50.1).