Graduation rate increases, fourth highest in state, third in metro

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Fayette’s 2020 four-year high school graduation rate is 91.3 percent, which is over a one percent increase from 90.2 percent in 2019.

The school system has the fourth highest graduation rate in the state compared to other systems with a graduating class of 1,000 or more students, and is among 105 Georgia school systems that recorded rates at or above 90 percent.

Additionally, Fayette posted the third highest graduation rate out of all the metro Atlanta county school systems, and its rate is well above the state’s 83.8 percent.

Both Starr’s Mill High and Whitewater High schools saw big increases in their graduation rates. Starr’s Mill posted the highest graduation rate of all five high schools, and the highest increase, with 96.3 percent compared to 93.8 percent in 2019. That’s over a 2.5 percent increase.

Whitewater had the second highest graduation rate among the county’s high schools, posting 95.2 percent. That’s over a 1.5 percent increase from last year’s 93.6 percent.

The graduation rates for Fayette County High, McIntosh High and Sandy Creek High schools remained nearly unchanged from last year, with slight drops totaling a fraction of a percent.

Fayette County High, at 83.69, was down seven tenths of a percent; McIntosh High, at 93.83, was down seven hundredths of a percent; and Sandy creek High, at 84.44, was down over one tenth of a percent.

Georgia calculates an adjusted cohort graduation rate as required by federal law. The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate is the number of students who graduate in four 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 ninth grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently “adjusted” by adding any students who transfer into the cohort during the next three years, and subtracting any students who transfer out.

While all states use the same calculation, each state sets its own requirements for students to earn a regular high school diploma. Georgia has some of the highest requirements in the nation for students to graduate with a regular diploma.