The state says Central Georgia schools are doing a better job of keeping their students through graduation day.
In fact, two high schools – Twiggs County High and Southwest in Bibb – nearly doubled their graduation rates over the past five years.
Georgia's Department of Education on Wednesday released new numbers say the state's high-school graduatin last year rose over 80 percent. That means four out of five Georgia ninth graders will graduate four years later.
The state says that rate has risen about 11 points over the past five years.
Some Central Georgia schools are helping to lead the way.
At Twiggs County High School, the rate has jumped 44 points since 2012. Now 90 percent of their students graduate.
Five years ago, Bibb County's Southwest High had one of the state's lowest graduation rates. They've raised their rate by 39 points, to 76 percent.
Nearly a dozen other area high schools raised their rate by more than 20 points: Northeast High School, 33%, Macon County, 31%, Wilcox County, 29%, Westside High (BIbb), 29%, Central High(BIbb), 29%, Dodge County, 27%, Wilkinson County, 27; Baldwin County, 24%, Crawford County High, 21%, Johnson County, 21, Howard High School (BIbb), 20%.
The state Department of Education says the rate is rising as districts increase students' access to "unique, personalized learning opportunities" -- incuding Career Pathways, dual enrollment, AP and IB programs, work-based learning, and internships.
Meanwhile, Bibb County was celebrating increases at all six high schools over the past five years.
"I am beyond excited to see our hard work paying off," said Superintendent Dr. Curtis L. Jones Jr., according to a news release. "These scores are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff, who are implementing initiatives and building relationships with students to ensure they are successful and prepared for college or career. This is what Victory in Progress looks like – it's doing the right work every day to move our District and our community forward."
Bibb's rate has risen 25 points in five years, to 77 percent.
Jones, hired in 2013, set a goal for an 80 percent graduation rate by 2020 and 90 percent by 2025.
Among Central Georgia public schools, Bleckley County High School had the highest graduation rate this year, 98 percent. Bibb County's Westside and Rutland had the lowest, both 74.8 percent.
Graduation rates for Central Georgia public high schools:
|2012 Rate||2017 grads||2017 rate||Increase|
|Bleckley County High||79.79||150||98||18.2|
|Crawford County High||58.17||93||79.5||21.3|
|Dodge County High||70.04||176||96.7||26.7|
|Dooly County High||60.22||86||75.4||15.2|
|East Laurens High||66.12||111||82.8||16.7|
|Hancock Central High||86.52||79||95.2||8.7|
|Houston County High||86.27||408||94.7||8.4|
|Johnson County High||66.67||71||87.7||21|
|Jones County High||74.94||344||85.4||10.4|
|Macon County High||56.25||108||87.1||30.8|
|Mary Persons High||80.07||290||86.8||6.8|
|Peach County High||66.56||214||83.3||16.7|
|Putnam County High||69.59||165||90.7||21.1|
|Taylor County High||68.91||82||86.3||17.4|
|Telfair County High||69.31||108||85||15.7|
|Twiggs County High||45.95||54||90||44.1|
|Washington County High||81.82||204||87.9||6.1|
|West Laurens High||73.21||262||86.8||13.5|
|Wheeler County High||76.27||61||87.1||10.9|
|Wilcox County High||60.75||87||89.7||28.9|
|Wilkinson County High||66.67||98||93.3||26.7|