Graduation Rate Falls in Columbia County

Graduation Rate Falls in Columbia County (Image 1)

Last weekend nearly 1,600
students picked up their diplomas from Columbia County schools. While the 2013
school year hasn't been measured yet, some say there should be more graduates. The Department of Education has released its annual tally of seniors
who walked away with a high school diploma in all state schools. Columbia
County placed a 74% and if that was on a report card, it would be a C.

Courtney Elledge reporting,
“To put the graduation rate into perspective, this bag of M&M's represent
Greenbrier High school. In one year, they dropped by 16 points. That's a 13
percent decrease from 2011.”

School board members say
the decrease is due to a new grading system called the adjusted cohort
graduation rate.  Here is how it's
different from years past: The cohort graduation rate is calculated by the
number of students who take four years to complete their requirements. In
Greenbrier's case, the state didn't factor in the zoning change that affected
both Greenbrier and the new Grovetown High School.

Regina Buccafusco with
Columbia County School Board “Three years ago we open up and divided
Grovetown High school, and took half of the students from Greenbrier. This
inflated the graduation rate at Greenbrier.”

The School board admits
regardless of the rate, their goal is to achieve high standards. Scoring in the
70's is something they want to correct.

Buccafusco explains, “We've
done this remediation where students can re mediate while they're taking a
course.. And that will allow our students to graduate in four years. Some
students do have a tough time getting through all of the requirements in four

Students who may struggle
with the 4 math requirements or other courses there's an outlet for them. The
Columbia County Community Connection offers tutoring, for those who need extra
help outside the classroom.

Columbia County Community
Connections Director Julie Miller says, “Really we just want to make sure kids
are successful, and that's our main goal.”

 Columbia County still
scored above the state's 69.7%. To learn about the new
grading scale and see where your school placed click here.






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