Oct. 21—Marietta High School and the Cobb County School District recently announced their four-year graduation rates clocked 86.7% and 87.2% respectively, several points above the statewide average.
Georgia's 2021 average graduation rate of 83.7%, meanwhile, held more or less steady from the previous year, dropping by one-tenth of a percentage point.
Marietta High saw its second straight year of improvement, rising about 3% over last year's rate. That trend was reflected in many student groups within the school, the district said, including Hispanic, English learning, and economically disadvantaged students.
Cobb schools, however, saw a slight dip in its district-wide graduation rate, which was 88.6% in 2020. That fact was not noted in the accompanying news release, though district officials said the number was still a win for Cobb students and families, rising 5.7% since 2015.
"Following the challenges of the pandemic, I am especially proud of the work the staff has done to help our students reach the graduation stage. From the graduation rate to SAT and ACT, Cobb students continue to outperform their peers across Georgia," Board of Education Chairman Randy Scamihorn said in a news release.
Like its counterpart in Marietta, Cobb schools announced earlier this week its students' average ACT scores had increased since 2020.
"This kind of across-the-board accomplishment only happens when the staff stays focused on teaching and learning and, starting with Superintendent Ragsdale, that's exactly what they've done," Scamihorn added.
The federally-mandated rate calculation is known as the "four-year cohort" rate, which accounts for students who started at the same time as freshmen and graduate within four years. It includes students who may not have attended a given school or district for all four years.
Several Cobb high schools saw sky-high numbers, with six posting graduation rates above 94%. Harrison High School led the pack at 97.7%. Pope High School was close behind at 97.2%, and Lassiter and Walton high schools tied for third at 96.1%, the district said.
Marietta, meanwhile, boasted its gains among different demographic segments. Hispanic students increased their graduation rate by six points to over 78%, white students rose by over two points to over 98%, and English learners' rate rose from 47.73% to 63.64%. Black students' graduation rate fell slightly by less than half a point to 88.66% but remained about seven points higher than the state average.
"The continued increase in the graduation rate is a product of the tireless work and innovative programs we have put in place the last three years," said Keith Ball, principal of Marietta High School.
Added Superintendent Grant Rivera, "The increase in the graduation rate is a direct result of the tremendous and sustained dedication of our MHS staff and our students' perseverance and determination to succeed, regardless of the uncertainty and ever-evolving circumstances brought about by the pandemic. I am incredibly proud of the Class of 2021 and I look forward to what they will accomplish in the future."