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Twiggs sees highest graduation rate increase | News

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Twiggs sees highest graduation rate increase
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Many Central Georgia districts saw an increase in graduation rates last spring. Twiggs County had the greatest increase, up 34 points.

The state of Georgia says Twiggs County High School's graduation rate is 78 percent.
But Superintendent Elgin Dixon said all of his seniors received their diplomas last year. That's because the graduation rate isn't based solely on the senior class, but by tracking students over four years, starting the first day of freshman year.

"The number of students that entered into ninth grade that walk through those doors at ninth grade and the number of students that completed all requirements for graduation four years later," Dixon said.

He attributes part of the rise in graduation rate to Georgia ending its graduation test requirement, something he's been concerned about for years.

"I've had smart students who because of test anxiety and other things on a single day may not of been successful on that test, and it saddens my heart that they could not move on to the next phase of their life based upon a test," Dixon said.

"I don't feel that removing the graduation test in any way dumbs down our curriculum. Our curriculum is more rigorous now than its ever been,"Assistant Superintendent Kim Barham said.

She said they are doing whatever it takes to see their students succeed. Like many districts, they offer credit recovery to retake required classes, and now even credit repair. So if students don't understand a few concepts of a course, they can get extra help to earn a higher grade.

"Where I may have made a 60 on an assignment because I didn't really understand it, I may come and can make a 70 if I put in that extra time and that extra work," Barham said.

Dixon says although they have seen an increase to 78 percent for their state graduation rate, his goal is 100 percent.

"We have created safety nets, interventions, before school, after school, Saturday school. There is no reason for a student not to be successful," Dixon said

Twiggs County has retroactively awarded more than 80 diplomas since House Bill 91 passed, the bill that did away with the graduation test.


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