New Formula Changes Graduation Rate

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(Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – A new method of calculating graduation rates reveals that more high school students are dropping out than had been previously counted and some of them are taking five or even six years to earn a diploma.

The new formula was released last week. It shows that Georgia’s 2011 graduation rate dropped 13 percentage points using the calculation, to 67.4 percent.

The report says previous school calculations often masked dropouts as transfers and they also counted students as graduates regardless of how long it took them to finish.

Schools Superintendent John Barge says that 5 percent to 10 percent of high school seniors now require a fifth or sixth year to finish.

Barge also warns that graduation rates could look even worse for 2012.

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