Riverdale High School in Clayton County had a 2012 four-year graduation rate of 43 percent. Another school in that district, Forest Park High, had a graduation rate of 48.7 percent.
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Staff writer Ty Tagami contributed to this article.
Explaining the difference
Georgia’s graduation rate, under a new federally mandated formula, was 69.72 percent in 2012, up from 67.44 percent in 2011. The state’s graduation rate under the old formula was 80 percent.
Four years means four years
Under the old system, which Georgia had used since 2003, schools were able to count students who took more than four years to graduate. Under the new system, the graduation rate is calculated by the number of freshmen who earn a diploma within four years.
Transfers and dropouts
Under the old system, schools counted dropouts only as those students who had declared their intentions not to return to school. Under the new system, if the school cannot verify that a student who has left the school has transferred to another school, then that student is counted as a dropout.