Summer graduates help school reach goal

Friday, July 8, 2011 1:15 PM
Last updated Saturday, July 9, 2011 1:34 AM
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Thirty-five graduates received diplomas Friday in a Columbia County summer commencement ceremony , with eight graduates coming from Evans High School.

Thirty-five Evans High School students got their diplomas Friday. In all, 47 completed their credits in summer school.  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Thirty-five Evans High School students got their diplomas Friday. In all, 47 completed their credits in summer school.

The school needed nine seniors to graduate this summer to meet federal Adequate Yearly Progress requirements.

After the ceremony at Grovetown High School, Evans High Principal Don Brigdon said four other students also earned diplomas but chose not to take part in the ceremony. Brigdon expects two more students to graduate once they complete online courses.

With those added graduates, Evans High's graduation rate increases to 87 percent,
2 percentage points more than the minimum standard for this school year.

"It gets harder every year," Brigdon said of the ever-increasing minimum graduation rate, which rises to 90 percent next school year. "But we're putting programs in place to help meet those goals, like the achievement periods all (Columbia Coun­ty public) high schools are doing next year."

The achievement period is a 30-minute block in the school day for struggling students to seek remediation and for excelling students to take "enhancement" classes, Brigdon said.

Graduation rates measure the number of students graduating high school within four years. Along with scores on the Georgia High School Graduation Tests, they are determining factors in high schools making AYP as set by the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Columbia County Superinten­dent Charles Nagle said last week that Evans High should make AYP once state Education Department officials factor in the graduates from Friday's ceremony.

In all, 47 students earned the necessary credits during summer school to graduate.
Evans High summer graduate Lauren Sanchez, 18, said her diploma means as much to her as it does to classmates who graduated in May.

She also was pleased she could help her school.
"It makes it a little more important to me," Sanchez said of helping her high school make AYP. "I'm glad I could do something to make a difference."

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or

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Reverie 07/08/11 - 03:44 pm
Great job Evans High! That

Great job Evans High! That takes the immediate pressure off. According to the government, when you can't reach their goal, they can legally take over the school. These are the same folks who do not want you to have access to private schools and school vouchers. Isn't that the ultimate goal--to federally regulate and operate all schools? The citizen will have no say or control of anything related to the education of their child.

RunningMan 07/08/11 - 04:39 pm
I see and educate my child

I see and educate my child each day despite what goes on in the class. The government is not the problem when it comes to educating our children. With involvement from parents, there should be no problems with our children graduating on time. And yes, all schools should strive from 100% graduation rate.

Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 07/08/11 - 05:12 pm
KUDOS to Dr. Rose Carraway,

KUDOS to Dr. Rose Carraway, CCSS high-school teachers, and the CCSS' Class of 2011. The CCSS had the 7th-highest GHSGT passing rate among GA's 180 public school systems this year.

teacher02 07/08/11 - 05:17 pm
It's unfortunate that nearly

It's unfortunate that nearly all schools are ultimately doomed to be defined as failing under NCLB. Aside from a few, select magnet schools, 100% graduate rate (and pass rate on the standardized tests) is just not a reality. Yet that will be the requirement by 2014. It doesn't mean the schools and teachers don't strive for that perfect mark - it's just not a realistic benchmark.

Riverman1 07/08/11 - 06:15 pm
This AYP thing has never made

This AYP thing has never made sense to me. Every school has its own goals to reach. Evans may be ten times better than another school that passes, yet has a lower percentage of students to graduate.

Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 07/09/11 - 05:03 am
Riverman1, Under NCLB, states


Under NCLB, states and their local school districts set their own criteria for AYP. The former do so by "curving" standardized test data to achieve desired "performance" outcomes. The latter do so by choosing among several performance criteria, including HS graduation rates, attendance, etc.

There is considerable evidence that, in many states and LEAs, the wholesale "massaging" of data has been undertaken by unscrupulous educrats.

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