The high school graduation rate in Georgia went up 2 points in 2012, compared to 2011, and sits at nearly 70%.
Here in the CSRA, all counties fared better than the state average except Jefferson and Richmond County schools.
- Richmond County – 59.59%
- Jefferson County – 67.37%
- Jenkins County – 70.59%
- Columbia County – 73.84%
- Burke County – 74.22%
But, Burke County is not just beating the average, it's seeing a steady growth in graduates.
One of the state's largest counties – Burke County – is counting more and more high school graduates.
In just a year, Burke County's high school graduation rate jumped 7 points, and school leaders hope the trend continues.
More than 250 students graduated from Burke County High School this year – that's 20 more students than last year.
“It's been a wonderful experience. Burke County has been a great school system,” said Matthew Atkinson.
Compared to other school districts in the CSRA, Burke County had the highest high school graduation rate. The school principal says that's because the county has just ONE high school and focuses on student attendance, course grades, and individual achievement.
“We've seen a continual rise of graduation rates at Burke County High School. It's doubled in the last 10 years,” said school principal, Sam Adkins.
“I think it reflects well on Burke County if we are able to improve the graduation rate steadily year after year and that Burke County is a great school,” said Matthew Atkinson.
The Georgia Department of Education now uses a new formula to track graduation rates – it measures students who graduate high school in only 4 years. So far, school leaders say there's no reward for exceeding the state average, but it shows the caliber of the student body.
“The dedication to academics, the staff, the teachers, all the before and after school programs – the staff is doing the best it can to make Burke County the best it can be,” said Atkinson.
The Department of Education will provide an exact graduation rate next spring but the Burke County school system predicts the 2013 graduation rate went up 3 points – to 78%.