10.10 APS Reaches All-Time Graduation Rate High of 86.6 Percent, Surpassing the State Rate for the First Time

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                
October 10, 2023

APS Reaches All-Time Graduation Rate High of 86.6 Percent 

The APS Class of 2023 reports the highest percentage of on-time graduates to date as the district graduation rate increases by 2.6 percentage points from last year.
The district graduation rate also surpasses the State’s graduation rate for the first time by 2.2 percentage points.


Atlanta Public Schools (APS) achieved an 86.6 percent graduation rate for cohort 2023, according to the Georgia Department of Education, which officially released graduation rates for the Class of 2023 today. 

This marks the highest all-time graduation rate for the district and the first time the district has surpassed the state’s graduation rate of 84.4% by 2.2 percentage points.

“I am incredibly proud of the graduating Class of 2023,” said APS Interim Superintendent Dr. Danielle Battle. “We are simply elated to celebrate another historic accomplishment! Our students and staff have worked extremely hard to increase our graduation rate and for our results to surpass the state average is truly a testament to the tremendous efforts of everyone in Atlanta Public Schools. We plan to continue building on this momentum by amplifying the work we’re currently doing.”

Here are more details:

By achieving its all-time high graduation rate, APS has exceeded the state graduation rate of 84.4% by 2.2 percentage points. This is the first time that APS has exceeded the state graduation rate. 

A total of 2,812 students graduated on-time from APS in 2023. The percentage of students who graduated in 2023 is higher than any other year since 2012, when the state adopted the cohort graduation rate as required by federal law. This is an increase of 121 graduates from 2022. The 2023 cohort included 3,247 students, 44 larger than the 2022 cohort. See Figure 1. 


Figure 1: APS Graduation Rates (Graduate Counts/Cohort Size)


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Of the 16 schools with graduating classes, 11 achieved percentage-point gains compared to 2022. The largest increase from a traditional high school was Douglass High School, which achieved a 7.2-percentage-point gain. Other traditional schools achieving gains include Mays (+5.7), Midtown (+4.9), North Atlanta (+4.5), Atlanta Classical (+3.9), South Atlanta (+3.3), Carver STEAM (+2.1), Carver Early (+1.4), KIPP Collegiate (+0.9), Jackson High School (+0.4). See Figure 2.


Figure 2: 2023 APS Graduation Rates and Change from 2022

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In addition, eight schools had graduation rates greater than 90 percent: Atlanta Classical Academy (100%), Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (100%), Drew Secondary (98.4%), North Atlanta (94.2%), BEST (93.8%), Carver Early (93.1%), KIPP Collegiate (93.0%), and Midtown (91.3%).


Among other results from the latest graduation rates:

  • Graduation rates for Black students (84.7%) reached an all-time high with the 2023 cohort, while the rate for Hispanic students (82.3%) and White students (96.7%) were higher than the cohort 2022 rates. See Figure 3. 
  • Nearly 12 percentage points separated the graduation rates of Black students and White students. This is one percentage point lower than the cohort 2022 difference.
  • Graduation rates for students with disabilities (76.2%) reached an all-time high with a four-percentage point increase over 2022. 
  • The 2023 graduation rate for English learners (65.7%) was lower than the 2022 graduation rate of 76.1%, a difference of 10.4 percentage points.
  • Graduation rates for Economically Disadvantaged students (82.8%) reached an all-time high with a 2.5 percentage point increase over 2022.



Figure 3: APS Graduation Rates by Race

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“We recognize that gaps in achievement persist among our students, so we are continuing to implement strategies for increasing achievement across all student groups,” Dr. Battle said.  “These strategies include cultivating a district of readers, shifting resources toward the classroom, operating with openness and collaboration, empowering our educators, and making a personal commitment to excellence. This formula, in conjunction with the availability of ongoing wraparound services, will not only increase student achievement but will benefit the whole child and will allow more to cross the finish line.”

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Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate

Georgia has calculated an adjusted cohort graduation rate as required by federal law since 2012, and this calculation has not changed over this period. APS only reports the official state graduation rate. The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate is the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. From the beginning of ninth grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently “adjusted” by adding any students who transfer into the cohort during the next four years and subtracting any students who transfer out. Students who drop-out remain in a four-year adjusted cohort. 


About Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 52,000 students across 87 schools. The District is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 58 neighborhood schools, six partner schools, 18 charter schools, two citywide single-gender academies and three alternative programs. For more information, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AtlantaPublicSchools/ and on Twitter and Instagram @apsupdate.