Now in the state's second year of a new graduation rate formula, Rockdale County Public Schools reported that its graduation rate rose last year by more than five points and was above the state average.
In 2012 RCPS saw a graduation rate of 72 percent while the state had an average of 69.7 percent. The year before that, in 2011, RCPS had a graduation rate of 66.2 percent while the state had an average of 67 percent.
Rockdale County High School had the highest graduation rate of 74.01 percent and showed the most improvement, followed by Heritage at 73.9 percent and Salem at 69.3 percent. The year before that, in 2011, Heritage had the highest rate 69.8, with Salem at 65.5 and RCHS had the lowest rate of 65.1.
RCPS Superintendent Richard Autry said at Thursday's school board meeting, where he presented the information, that the school system was back above the state average, where it wanted to be. "But we have a goal of 100 percent of our students graduating and graduating on time."
The new method, called the Cohort rate, only includes students who graduate within four years. The previous method, called the Lever rate, counted students who graduated with their diploma even if it took longer than four consecutive years.
In 2010-2011, the last year under the Lever rate, RCPS had a graduation rate of 86 percent, while the state was 80.9 percent.
Dropout rates have not yet been reported by the state, said Autry.