Education More News |

Richmond County graduation rate up; Columbia County slips

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 12:05 PM
Last updated Wednesday, May 22, 2013 1:10 AM
  • Follow Education

Richmond County’s high school graduation rate made gains in 2012 while Columbia County slipped a couple percentage points but still surpassed the state average, according to data released by the Georgia Department of Education Tuesday.

Columbia County fell by two points to a 73.84 percent graduation rate in 2012, which is higher than Georgia’s 69.7 percent – a statewide improvement by two points from 2011.

Richmond County jumped by more than four points from 54.63 percent in 2011 to 59.19 percent last year, but still remains below the state average.

The 2012 results make up the second year all states have used a new formula to calculate gradation rates so that data can be accurately compared across the country. The new cohort method only accounts for students who graduated within four years after entering high school as freshmen. The previous method used in Georgia looked at the percent of seniors who graduated at the end of a year, which some say inflated numbers by counting those who took longer than four years to graduate.

“I am very pleased that our graduation rate continues to increase, no matter how it is calculated,” state school Superintendent John Barge said in a news release. “While our graduation rate is still far too low and we have much progress to be made, we are moving in the right direction. In order to encourage more students to stay in school, we must make high school more relevant.”

All but two Richmond County high schools, Cross Creek and Butler, made gains from 2011. John S. Davidson Fine Arts and A.R. Johnson Health, Science and Engineering magnet schools maintained their 100 percent graduation rates.

The largest improvement came from Glenn Hills High, which jumped 11 points to 57.05 percent in 2012.

Superintendent Frank Roberson said the districtwide improvement is encouraging, especially as teachers have put more focus on data and collaboration to increase student achievement.

“I feel really great about it,” Roberson said. “I point directly to the teachers and the students and the principals, of course, for the work on the ground. It’s teachers giving more attention to background education and skills that students need and working with their colleagues to make certain it penetrates.”

Rates at three out of the five Columbia County high schools ticked up in 2012, while Greenbrier made an almost 13 point drop to 76.1 percent and Lakeside decreased by three points to 76.71 percent.

Burke County High School increased more than seven points to 74.74 percent in 2012.

The 2012 graduation rates will be factored in to the 2012-13 College and Career Ready Performance Index, Georgia’s new accountability report card for schools and districts, which is expected to be released in the fall.

Dana Rickman, the director of policy and research for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, said now having two years of accurate graduation data to compare gives useful insight into student achievement.

She said the cohort method gives educators a more real measure of graduation rates. The previous leaver method was based somewhat on estimates of the percentage of students who graduated their senior year. The cohort method uses the state’s new student data system, which assigns each student an identification number so schools can account for those who transferred or dropped out when calculating the graduation rates.

Rickman said incremental gains seen in Georgia are encouraging and should continue over time.

“Year to year you’re really looking at small, incremental improvements,” Rickman said. “I was impressed we got two full percentage points this year (in Georgia). Obviously you want 10 or 20 percentage points, but that’s not realistic. Looking at data over time, as long as you’re seeing steady improvements, you know you’re on the right track.”

Richmond County59.1954.63
Cross Creek63.7866.18
Glenn Hills57.0545.88
Lucy C. Laney48.7847.31
T.W. Josey51.6546.69
Columbia County73.8475.95
Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
nocnoc 05/21/13 - 01:24 pm
Don't get me wrong I am happy

Don't get me wrong I am happy to see the better scores.
A PR firm could have wrote this, given the spin.

Removing the spin and we see the facts.
2012 Graduation rate
Georgia’s Average 69.70%
Columbia County 73.80%,
Richmond County 59.19%

Richmond still lags behind and we need improvement.

As we know, new schools don't educate kids, it is the Teachers, parents and book/e-books that do.

So aside from promises made every election cycle, what is our 10 year plan to turn this around?

nocnoc 05/21/13 - 01:29 pm
Why is Davidson 100%


It has a policy do right or leave.

Wow! disciple, strict goals and expectations of the students for the privilege of attendance.

I can't comment on Johnson 1st hand.
What is the story for their success from a parents or students view point?

GiantsAllDay 05/21/13 - 01:48 pm
NocNoc, There are lies, damn

There are lies, damn lies and then there are statistics. Let's say you are a great bowler with a 210 average and I'm a terrible bowler with a 100 average. One night we have a bowling match against each other. You have a bit of an off night and score a 205; things go just right for me and I score a 120. The following is true:
A) you defeated me, handily
B) I can tell the world that I improved by 20%
C) you are still a great bowler and I still stink

Mr. Thackeray
Mr. Thackeray 05/21/13 - 01:49 pm
No matter how you parse

the numbers the graduation rate in BOTH counties is disgraceful!

grovetownman 05/21/13 - 01:50 pm
at nocnoc

Davidson's grad rate is so superior because it is a magnet school with the best of the best. Those kids WANT to learn and excel. I hope people understand that a kid has to want to do these things. That comes, first, at HOME! Hear that parents! Get involved in your child's life and education. That is where it begins. Parents and others are very quick to blame schools, teachers, etc... Spare me. Yes there are poor teachers, but look at what their parents are NOT DOING! Good job RC schools for moving slightly up. Not much, but it's better than nothing. In CC schools, don't think it's just because they have "better" teachers, it's because you have more parental involvement. Austin Rhodes made a comment about this not all that long ago and it is so true. Hold the parents accountable, then the students, then the teachers. The teachers in RC are busting their "backside", doing that with budget cuts and furlough days. Thank a teacher the first chance you get. Without them, where would you really be?

resident 05/21/13 - 02:17 pm
People in Jail or suspended then return

So things like their return to school after paying a price for stupidity will cause the number to be skewed. Greenbriar for example had what 20 plus busted and suspended to an alternate school..This causes numbers to look really bad. Richmond has bad numbers due to criminals for one thing for sure...Let parenting come back into the picture..Davidson forces both sides to comply..I think this should be the case..If not alternative school...or better yet night school with the parents in attendance...Make it painful..lets not reward them with days off....Force them to learn..It appears they keep using Race, money, poverty, and any other buzz words as excuses..Do not accept any..I did not have money growing up..We did not have Christmas and handed down clothes, shopped Goodwill and discount stores..had food stamps..Basically struggled..If I wanted it I had to work for it..I also was NOT ALLOWED to have a bad was MY FAULT if I did and was punished accordingly..I have 2 working on a third degree, make a good wage, retired from the service after 25years..have one graduated from college (2 year working toward 4year) and one still in school learning slowly but has a disability slowing the process. It can be done but it takes parenting and personal responsibility for your own actions to make it from the lower income bracket!!!!

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 05/21/13 - 02:19 pm
Not so fast

I don't think so, Mr. Thackeray. Columbia County's 4- year graduation rate of 73.84 percent is great. You certainly don't want to set low academic performance standards whereby everyone graduates. (Magnet schools don't count because they select the best achievers.) Instead, set meaningful standards and accept those who don't graduate in four years without putting them down.

Mr. Thackeray
Mr. Thackeray 05/21/13 - 03:38 pm
You're correct Little Lamb,

You're correct Little Lamb, that is if you find the fact that 25% of the kids don't graduate! Don't compare these numbers to other GA schools, how about a comparison to the top states? You do that and we are sorely behind! CCBOE does a wonderful job of touting our "numbers" compared to other GA schools...try national numbers, then you will see where we truly lie as our kids must compete on a national scale for jobs, higher ed, etc.

itsanotherday1 05/21/13 - 10:17 pm
I'm with Mr.Thackery on this.

I'm with Mr.Thackery on this. The numbers suck no matter what the improvements or comparison to state is. I don't know where we rank on a state to state basis, but I wager it is in the mid to low percentiles.

itsanotherday1 05/21/13 - 10:29 pm
Now I know- we are 45th

Alabama 43 69.9
Alaska 40 72.6
Arizona 41 72.5
Arkansas 36 74.0
California 42 71.0
Colorado 22 77.6
Connecticut 28 75.4
Delaware 37 73.7
Florida 44 68.9
Georgia 45 67.8
Hawaii 30 75.3
Idaho 13 80.6
Illinois 21 77.7
Indiana 33 75.2
Iowa 5 85.7
Kansas 15 80.2
Kentucky 22 77.6
Louisiana 46 67.3
Maine 17 79.9
Maryland 16 80.1
Massachusetts 8 83.3
Michigan 30 75.3
Minnesota 3 87.4
Mississippi 49 62.0
Missouri 9 83.1
Montana 11 82.0
Nebraska 10 82.9
Nevada 50 56.3
New Hampshire 7 84.3
New Jersey 6 85.3
New Mexico 48 64.8
New York 39 73.5
North Carolina 35 75.1
North Dakota 3 87.4
Ohio 18 79.6
Oklahoma 25 77.3
Oregon 27 76.5
Pennsylvania 14 80.5
Rhode Island 30 75.3
South Carolina 47 66.0
South Dakota 12 81.7
Tennessee 24 77.4
Texas 28 75.4
Utah 19 79.4
Vermont 2 89.6
Virginia 20 78.4
Washington 37 73.7
West Virginia 26 77.0
Wisconsin 1 90.7
Wyoming 33 75.2

Ahead of :

Nevada- 50th
Mississippi- 49th
New Mexico- 48th
South Carolina- 47th
Louisiana- 46th

Riverman1 05/22/13 - 04:41 am
It's a complicated issue

It's a complicated issue when you compare southern schools v the nation. It's the same reason some western states such as Nevada are NOW scoring poorly in various ways. Let's say it this way...When you compare the test scores of only the students who will likely go to college Nevada doesn't do poorly and neither does Richmond County.

Humble Angela
Humble Angela 05/22/13 - 09:48 am
I really don't like the use

I really don't like the use of graduation rates as a measure of how well a school is doing. If you lower your standards, then ANYONE can graduate......right?

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs