DeKalb’s graduation rate under the new state formula: 58.65%

In the past, DeKalb’s published graduation rate was usually in the 80th percentile.  But that number was simply calculated using the number of graduates vs the number of seniors who began that school year.  It was hardly an indicator of our system’s overall ability to graduate every student who begins high school in DeKalb.

The new formula, mandated by the state, calculates the percentages of students who finish high school in four years. (Soon, the formula will also allow for calculations for graduating students in five years.)

The AJC reported that Under new formula, Georgia graduation rate reset to 67.4 percent:

Nearly a third of all Georgia students fail to finish high school in four years – a fact unveiled Tuesday as states come on board with a new single system for calculating high school graduation rates.

Under the new federally mandated formula, Georgia’s 2011 graduation rate has been reset at 67.4 percent. That’s well-below the 80 percent graduation rate that the old formula produced — an accomplishment politicians have pointed to as a bright spot in the state’s academic record and a reason for companies to do business in Georgia.

The new calculation means Georgia’s graduation rate trails some of its Southern neighbors. In some metro-Atlanta schools, roughly half of freshmen are graduating within four years.

Below are the published 2011 graduation rates for DeKalb High Schools vs the same year using the new formula:

Arabia Mountain:   NA/85.71
Avondale HS:   56.6/39.89
Cedar Grove HS:   76.3/57.27
Chamblee Charter HS:   88.3/81.67
Clarkston HS:   72.8/54.74
Columbia HS:   80.4/66.57
Cross Keys HS:   85.1/48.34
Alternative Night School:   NA/2.46
Alternative School:   NA/5.88
DeKalb Early College Academy:   100/92.86
DeKalb School of the Arts:   96.9/96.83
DeKalb Transition School:   NA/0
DeKalb/Shadowrock PsychoEd Center:   NA/0
Druid Hills HS:   83.2/62.13
Dunwoody HS:   87.9/80.84
East DeKalb Spec. Ed. Center:   NA/0
Elizabeth Andrews HS:   38.5/21.1
Gateway to College Academy:   12.2/7.14
Lakeside HS:   87.8/62.79
Lithonia HS:   75.1/59.4
Margaret Harris Comprehensive School:   NA/0
McNair HS:   71.1/53.02
Miller Grove HS:   83.4/74.31
MLK Jr. HS:   75.2/53.64
Redan HS:   84.3/78.79
Southwest DeKalb HS:   83.8/66.73
Stephenson HS:   86.8/79.21
Stone Mountain HS:   86.3/72.88
Towers HS:   64.2/43.9
Tucker HS:   82.6/72.42
UHS of Laurel Heights:   NA/0

See the numbers for yourself:
Click this link to read more.
Click this link
to search for the data for individual schools.

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53 Responses to DeKalb’s graduation rate under the new state formula: 58.65%

  1. Dekalb Taxpayer says:

    It WAS George Bush’s fault. That is not up for dispute. Here are direct quotes from and a link to a letter dated 2002 archived in the U.S. Dept. of Education. I do not think it should Obama should have continued Bush’s initiative, but you know how hard it is to discontinue any program once it’s started. The letter below was signed by Rod Paige, Bush’s Secretary of Education:
    “June 14, 2002
    Dear Colleague:
    As you know, on January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLBA). I am excited about this landmark legislation, as I believe it provides a critical road map for bringing about real improvement in student achievement……..

    In the case of any Title I elementary or secondary school identified for school improvement, the school district is required to provide all students enrolled in the school with the option to transfer to another public school in the school district…..

    Among students exercising choice, school districts must give priority to the lowest-achieving students from low-income families…..

    If a student exercises the option to transfer to another public school, the school district has certain obligations to provide or pay for with federal funds the student’s transportation to the new school. The school district’s obligation for choice-related transportation and supplemental education services is equal to 20 percent of its Title I, Part A allocation…….”

    Here is the link to check it out for yourself:

  2. justwatch says:

    Obama and Duncan have been willing to support a reauthroization with changes. Duncan finally made the changes administratically.

    There are many that believe there are good parts of NCLB and that those good parts outweigh the bad. (Many advocacy groups for students with disabilities and minority students believe that the subgroup emphasis is a good thing. I don’t disagree.)

    The devil is always in the details and the implementation. That is where things got down right scary.

  3. Miss Management says:

    Oh I know George W ‘started’ NCLB, but Obama and Duncan should have whacked it. It would have been easy to undo. Instead they added to it! Now it’s like NCLB gone wild. Only now they call it ESEA or something like that. I mean really, the competition for the extra money is making states look desperate. Just say no people.

  4. Dekalb Taxpayer says:

    “Oh I know George W ‘started’ NCLB, but Obama and Duncan should have whacked it.”

    And just how easy do you think it would be for Obama and Duncan to just “whack it”? Every program that is started by the bureaucracy (and Bush and the Republicans are every bit as bad as the Democrats – witness the budget busting Medicare Part B they passed) is very difficult to discontinue. Do you really think “whacking” NCLB would have garnered 61% of the Senate votes? If it can’t get 61 out of 100 in the Senate, it won’t be discontinued.

  5. EAV Mom says:

    I received a letter in the mail last week from DCSS stating that there would no longer be anymore EASA transfers. Apparently, the State of GA asked to be exempted from 10 different requirements of NCLB/EASA and the transfers were one of those requirements.

    As for the point about rewarding the worst performing students, I know several parents in East Atlanta who have utilized this transfer to make sure that there kids are not stuck in failing schools. These kids are not the “worst”, one of them is even “gifted” for whatever that terms means. However, as a parent who’s kids are districted to a failing school, I can say for sure that I will do whatever it takes to make sure my kids have a better option. My kids are transferred through the IB program, so I guess we are also those people you talk about who make it where other “communities are left with schools filled with kids they have no connection with whatsoever.” I drive my kids half way across the county to ensure they have better opportunities, sorry I can’t afford to live in your neighborhood, but I still want what is best for my kids too.

  6. Dekalb Taxpayer says:

    This has nothing to do with graduation rates, but it is noteworthy. Look at this AJC article from today’s paper:
    “School board streamlines DeKalb organization chart”
    “The school system in DeKalb County has taken another step to allay concerns that it wastes taxpayer money on unnecessary or overpaid jobs.
    Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson asked the school board Wednesday to streamline the organizational chart by creating a new set of 17 job classifications with matching pay schedules. That’s far fewer than the 365 that the school system has been using. The effort is part of a reorganization of the roughly 5,900-member workforce
    The board voted 8-1 in favor, with Chairman Eugene Walker opposing.
    The transition will take three years, and is eventually expected to save around $300,000 a year.
    The goal, according to officials, is to tie salaries to responsibilities and to “flatten” the organization structure and “right size” the system. ”
    Click here to read the entire article:

    Why would Walker vote against this?

    Email or call your BOE rep and Dr. Atkinson complimenting them on this move. If Walker is your BOE, you can email him for an explanation. If you get one, please post it here.

    I already emailed my BOE rep and Dr. Atkinson thanking them for trying to bring some sense to DeKalb Schools jobs classification. Can anyone imagine transparency or efficiency with 365 job classifications?

    The next move is to publish these job classifications and their corresponding pay schedules online like all of the other school systems in metro Atlanta.

  7. Dekalb dweller says:

    It’s certainly a step in the right direction, but is this supposed to take the place of the recommended 20% reduction in Central Office staff? A $300,000 savings is peanuts when you consider what a 20% reduction would save.

  8. Dekalb Taxpayer says:

    I hope this is not supposed to take the place of the 20% reduction in Central Office staff. That’s a good question for Dr. Atkinson and the Board of Education members.

  9. Dekalb Taxpayer says:

    Here is the link a poster provided. The structure looks very good – clean, efficient and very objective. I’m impressed. When all of the salary structure is posted on the DCSS website, it should be easy for taxpayers to compare this to the state Salary and Travel audit to ensure non teaching personnel are being paid exactly in the salary range of what they are supposed to be paid.

  10. Dekalb Taxpayer says:

    Oops! Forgot to post the link to proposed classification and salary information:

  11. Dekalb lurker says:

    This link is a board meeting agenda.

  12. We see it – click on Agenda Item F. 7. Recommended Classifications and Salary Schedules – there are supporting documents to download –

    We will also post them in our FILES under the Facts & Sources tab at the top of the blog. Thanks for the link DeKalb Taxpayer!

  13. Dekalb Tax Payer says:

    I just copied the link from another poster. This is actually a very big deal. No longer are hundreds (365) of salary schedules going to be in effect. There will be only 17 and everyone will be placed on one of those 17 salary schedules. Why would Eugene Walker oppose this? This needs to be a post all on its own. Dr. Atkinson needs some support for this.

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