DeKalb schools tout improved test scores, graduation rates

DeKalb County School District touted its recent improvements in graduation rates and SAT test scores. Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Officials at DeKalb County School District (DCSD) are celebrating a continued rise in graduation rates and SAT scores, according to recent releases.

According to a release from the district on Sept. 28, DCSD graduation rates have increased from 70 percent in 2016 to 74 percent in 2017. The rate was announced by the Georgia Department of Education during the same week.

Data from the state indicates a steady improvement for DCSD high schools. Between 2013 and 2017, the graduation rate at DeKalb County schools has increased a total of 14 percent.

“We are pleased to see the growth in our graduation rate, as it reflects the efforts we’ve made to encourage good attendance, study habits and instruction,” said DCSD superintendent R. Stephen Green.

The district highlighted increases for Black students overall (70 to 73 percent), Black females (77 percent to 82 percent), English learners (67 to 70 percent), special education students (41 to 47 percent) and economically disadvantaged students (67 to 70 percent).

DCSD officials highlighted double digit increases at Cedar Grove High School (72 to 83 percent) as well as Clarkston High School (59 to 72 percent) between 2016 and 2017.

Cedar Grove joined Chamblee Charter, Dunwoody, Lakeside, Redan, Stephenson, Arabia Mountain, DeKalb School of the Arts and DeKalb Early College Academy as a school with a graduation percentage of 80 or more.

Arabia Mountain, DeKalb Early College Academy and DeKalb School of the Arts maintained graduation rates of 99, 100 and 99 percent, respectively.

The graduation rates announcement arrived two days after a Sept. 26 release stating DCSD students have improved and outperformed minority students throughout the United States on the SAT.

“We are not where we expect to be just yet but we are very proud of the progress our students are making,” Green said. “More than before, we are clearly seeing how our students are closing gaps in performance with their peers.

Every step counts and we are moving forward and upward.”

DCSD officials state Black student performance in DeKalb outscored the national average by 12 points and Hispanic student performance beat the national average by 8 points.

According to district officials, DCSD has improved its SAT performance by 47 points, coming within 60 points of the Georgia average for public schools. This was also an improvement of 68 points with regards to the national average, where DCSD comes within 64 points.

Five DCSD high schools—Chamblee Charter, DeKalb Early College Academy, DeKalb School of the Arts, Dunwoody and Lakeside—all scored higher than both the national and state average.

For Green, the improvements are part of DCSD fulfilling its mission for students, parents and stakeholders.

“Combined with the positive SAT and ACT results in recent weeks, this shows DCSD is not only graduating more students, but that we’re also preparing them for college, a career and beyond,” he said.


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