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Graduation formula will hurt Georgia report

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ATLANTA --- If you ask anyone in the governor's office or the Georgia Department of Education about high school graduation rates, you'll hear that the state's children surpass their peers across the country.

But, if you ask experts from anywhere else, you'll be told Georgia is below the national average.

Depending on who crunches the numbers, the state's high-school graduation rate is somewhere between 64 percent and 80 percent. In two years, everyone will use the same formula for calculating the rates, and Georgians should prepare for a statistical disappointment.

By that universal formula, the state average was 64 percent in 2007 compared with 72 percent for the average of the 16 nearby states and 74 percent nationally. The Peach State is behind the national average in every demographic group.

Georgia officials say they're not trying to fool anyone with their method but argue they have the best way to reflect the mobility of students in such a growing state. They simply compute the percentage of seniors who graduate.

On the other hand, the approach that will be used by every state in 2011 figures the percentage of freshmen who graduate four years later. One reason Georgia's method might be so much higher is that more students in ninth, tenth and eleventh grades are behind schedule for graduating on time than in other states. Just 67 percent of Georgia high schoolers in all grades are on track to graduate on schedule.

Being behind means more reach the legal dropout age before they even enroll in the twelfth grade, leaving only the students most likely to complete their education.

Sen. Lester Jackson and Rep. Mickey Stephens, both Savannah Democrats, are sponsoring legislation that would raise the legal dropout age from 16 to 17 in an effort to boost the graduation rate.

"Sixteen-year-olds are simply not mature enough to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives," Mr. Jackson said.

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johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 12/14/09 - 04:23 am
0
0
The problem with graduation

The problem with graduation rate isn't the drop out age. It's the "free ride" attitude fostered by the government with the subsidy programs. Expect little, receive little. Of course, the Dems CAN expect to get their vote.

justus4
113
Points
justus4 12/14/09 - 05:40 am
0
0
Look at the history of the
Unpublished

Look at the history of the entire region and nothing much has changed. Racial disparities everywhere and the local governments covering up that info by using slippery math. That's the history of those states and guess who always loses: U know who. In fact, these kids are not even being taught - just sitting in classes getting ready for penal institutions and the ignorant elected officials, especial those of color, are doing nothing. And this attempt to raise the dropout age is exactly the kind of lunacy minority officials engage in to appear "concerned." The age of the droupouts are not the problem! The problem is that they are dropping out! Changing the age will not effect the rates! It is just so sad to witness the complete ignorance of some people, while their communities sink further & further behind. We need people who are just smarter that this, because most of these kids are already lost.

pointstoponder
621
Points
pointstoponder 12/14/09 - 06:23 am
0
0
Justus, why are these kids

Justus, why are these kids just sitting in class? The opportunity for education is there for those that take it. The motivation has to come from within and the home.

jboy
0
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jboy 12/14/09 - 06:41 am
0
0
they are just sitting in

they are just sitting in class because their sorry parents did the same thing. the only reason most of them even go is for a free babysitter and meal.

LadyCisback
4
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LadyCisback 12/14/09 - 06:45 am
0
0
Exactly the motivation needs

Exactly the motivation needs to come from home.. but nowadays the parents are more worried about putting food on the table and paying the bills that they have lost control of their kids and the motivation needed to give them to go to school and take advantage of the free education..

disssman
6
Points
disssman 12/14/09 - 06:58 am
0
0
Now we see what happens when

Now we see what happens when parents stop putting the "My kid is an hinor student at_________". I wonder if the board is talking about this at the retreat? No, I guess they are more interested in more money than they are in fixing problems. I guess the old adage " if its broke just throw money at it until it fixes itself" is true for our elected officials. POINTSTOPONDER they may be just sitting there because the teacher isn't smart enough to teach them anything. Just because a person has a title of teacher, dosen't mean they are one.

Little Lamb
49254
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Little Lamb 12/14/09 - 07:47 am
0
0
So the legislature plans to

So the legislature plans to pass a law making it illegal to drop out of school when you are 16. I wonder what the penalty is? A fine? Jail time? How many police officers will be tied up enforcing this law? How many lawyers will be hired to defend scofflaws who drop out? The nanny state is way too top-heavy, and will collapse on top of us, leaving us flat broke.

Riverman1
94299
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Riverman1 12/14/09 - 08:21 am
0
0
Making it illegal to drop out

Making it illegal to drop out of school at 16 will do the biggest damage to public education seen in a long time. We should be making it easier to drop out if the person doesn't want to be there.

pointstoponder
621
Points
pointstoponder 12/14/09 - 09:22 am
0
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Disssman, I'm sure there are

Disssman, I'm sure there are teachers that might be better in other fields. However, for any student to blame their failures in school on the teachers is ridiculous. And by the way, the ability to reproduce doesn't make one a parent either. Keeping kids that don't want to learn in school to satisfy a statistician is idiotic and only takes away resources better spent focusing on students that want to learn.

Little Lamb
49254
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Little Lamb 12/14/09 - 09:22 am
0
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Let's look at this a little

Let's look at this a little more. These two Georgia legislators say they want to raise the legal dropout age from 16 to 17 in order to BOOST THE GRADUATION RATE. But the reporter says that the federal formula for calculating graduation rate uses freshmen who graduate FOUR YEARS LATER as the criteria. Now, how many dropout candidates really expect to graduate in four years? Not many, I would wager. The REASON many people want to drop out at 16 is because they have no reasonable expectation to graduate in four years, if at all. So if you force a student to stay in school against his will while he is 16, he still will not graduate IN FOUR YEARS and the graduation rate for the school system will not be "boosted." The proposed legislation is asinine.

cleanup
0
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cleanup 12/14/09 - 12:45 pm
0
0
Currently, Richmond County is

Currently, Richmond County is dummying down EVERYTHING in order to get grad rates up. This is hurting ALL students, but especially the ones who are motivated, and don't need all the bs mollycoddling, constant "groupwork," and all the other crap that goes with the idiotic push for "standards based classrooms." Thank Bedden for the further ruination of "education" in Richmond County.

waugusta92
0
Points
waugusta92 12/14/09 - 02:40 pm
0
0
lol told ya

lol
told ya

corgimom
38759
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corgimom 12/14/09 - 07:40 pm
0
0
This age change doesn't

This age change doesn't matter. Dropping out in school starts about 4th grade; 16 or 17, doesn't make any difference. They stop attending somewhere in the 7th to 9th grade anyway. There's very little difference between a 16 and 17 year old. It won't keep them in school. You want to keep them in school? Make it so their parent(s) can't receive any public housing if their child drops out. The drop out rate will fall faster than a rock.

avidreader
3567
Points
avidreader 01/28/10 - 08:47 am
0
0
"Dumbing Down" the curriculum

"Dumbing Down" the curriculum has nothing to do with graduation rates. The children have to pass all five of the GHSGT or not graduate. Simply pushing a student through the grade levels will not help graduation rates. The child must perform on standardized testing, so only the kids that are challenged are going to succeed.

Little Lamb
49254
Points
Little Lamb 01/29/10 - 11:25 pm
0
0
Thank you, AvidReader. The

Thank you, AvidReader. The educrats who want to keep students from dropping out will be lowering graduation rates, not raising them. Students who are not contributing should be encouraged to drop out.

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