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Georgia hits highest graduation rate ever, Dade edges out several Northwest Georgia counties

The state of Georgia’s School Superintendent Richard Woods announced in a Nov. 10 press release that the state has reached its highest graduation rate ever.


Georgia rose from 82% in 2019 to 83.8% in 2020, a 14.1% increase since the 2012 rate of 69.7%. Woods said that part of this increase came from 89 schools showing a graduation rate of above 95%.


“I’m very proud of the class of 2020,” Woods said. “These students were faced with difficulties none of us could have imagined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have shown over and over again – in ACT and SAT results, in their personal accomplishments and now in this graduation rate – that they were able to rise above. While these results are positive, we cannot stop here. We must provide tailored and personalized pathways to ensure every student sees the relevance in their education, stays in school and receives a high school diploma that prepares them for their future.”


Georgia has seen an increase in its graduation rate ever since it began following a federal law requirement to use a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate. This rate is calculated by taking the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class.


According to a PDF chart of all counties in the state, Dade County has a graduation rate of 87.12%. In Northwest Georgia, Dade edged out Chattooga County’s 84.5%, Bartow County’s 85.1%, Whitfield County’s 86.8% and Polk County’s 86.8%. Floyd County has the highest graduation rate with a percentage of 94.6%, followed by Murray County with 92%, Paulding County with 90.8%, Walker County with 90.7%, Catoosa County with 89.6% and Haralson County with 89.2%.


“We are happy to report that the 2020 graduation rate for Dade County High School is 87.12%,” Dade County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jan Irons Harris said. “We are proud of our students and commend Principal [James] Fahrney, faculty and staff for the improved graduation rate, which is above the Georgia state graduation rate of 83.8%.”


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