Georgia's high school graduation rate hits record high under new formula

FILE - In this June 18, 2014 file photo, High School graduates stand and sing during graduation ceremonies in Santa Ana Bowl. The nation's high school graduation rate has ticked up slightly to 82 percent, a new high. The Education Department said Tuesday that the rate for the 2013-14 school year — up from 81 percent the previous year — was the highest since it started using a new, uniform measure in 2010. Still, the numbers show nearly 1 in 5 students leaving high school without a diploma. (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Mark Felix, File)

Georgia graduation rates

2019: 82.0%2018: 81.6%2017: 80.6%2016: 79.4%2015: 79.0%2014: 72.6%2013: 71.8%2012: 69.7%

Georgia's high school graduation rate increased for the seventh straight year in 2019, rising to 82%.

The 82% mark is a record high since the state began using the adjusted cohort calculation implemented eight years ago.

Georgia's graduation rate has increased by a total of 12 percentage points since 2012.

Under the new formula, the state's 2011 graduation rate fell dramatically by 13 percentage points, to 67.4% from 80.9. It rose to 69.7% in 2012.

The new formula counts students who transfer to a school but not those who transfer out. Schools are required to keep track of students leaving to make sure the students are registered at another school.

In 2019, 71 Georgia school districts recorded graduation rates at or above 90%, while 24 districts achieved rates at 95% or higher.

Both Gordon and Murray counties achieved those marks with Murray County graduating exactly 95% of its students.

Only Dade County came in under the state average at 80.7%.

Richard Woods, Georgia's state school superintendent, said in a news release that he is proud of the work the students and teachers are doing to improve the state's graduation rates, as well as their National Assessment of Educational Progress and Georgia Milestones scores.

"Moving forward, we must continue to focus on offering a relevant education and preparing every child for their future," Woods said. "Not a one-size-fits-all system that sends every student in the same direction, but a tailored and personalized pathway based on a student's academic and career interests and future goals."

Contact Patrick Filbin at or 423-757-6476.