More students graduating

Published 3:39 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Georgia Department of Education released its four-year cohort graduation rates on Wednesday, and the numbers were up across the board. The Georgia Department of Education as a whole saw an increase in its 2017 graduation rate, which now stands at 80.6 percent.

The news is also good for the Troup County School System, which saw its graduation rate rise to 78 percent, an increase of 1.1 percent over last year. The numbers are also 6.6 percent higher than in 2015, when the graduation rate was 71.4 percent.

Both Callaway High School and LaGrange High School saw an increase from 2016 and a significant one in comparison to their 2015 numbers. Troup High had the highest graduation rate in the county the last few years, but saw a slight decrease this year. Even with that said, Troup is at 78 percent — within two percentage points of the other two schools.

There’s nothing in this community — and any other community — that gets people fired up like the local school system and rightfully so. Everyone wants the best for their kids — the best teachers, the best classes and the best future.

As reporters, we cover every meeting of the Troup County Board of Education, so we find out about all the new initiatives in the school system. We’ve heard about PBIS, the new behavior intervention system and Read 180. We’ve also heard about new incentives, like giving students with great behavior, high grades and perfect attendance a chance to win a car.

Parents are often too busy to attend all those meetings. There’s a lot happening — a lot of decisions that are made — and it can be overwhelming for us, let alone parents that are trying to juggle multiple kids in school, sports and their own jobs.

However, there’s nothing like a solid number that truly reflects growth or decline.

That’s exactly what this graduation rate reflects. There’s a lot that goes into it, but there’s nothing quite like the bottom line.

And in this case, parents should be proud of the growth in the Troup County School System. There’s plenty of progress left to be made, and in no way are we saying the system should be content with a 78 percent graduation rate.

However, there’s been clear growth. The school system’s graduation rate has increased nearly 7 percent since 2015 and all three high schools are now above 78 percent. Two years ago, Callaway High School was at 67.2 percent and LaGrange was at 70.7.

Now, all three are on the verge of hitting 80 percent. That’s a great goal for next year, to see if all three can hit that milestone.

For now though, let’s just celebrate the progress already made.