Georgia schools see higher graduation rates and poorer academic results in 2022

The Georgia Department of Education is releasing data on how public schools and districts performed in the 2021-2022 school year, but the state is not awarding letter grades from A to F due to limited data following the third straight year of the Covid19 pandemic.

Figures released Wednesday showed an increase in high school graduation rates compared to 2019, the last year before the pandemic, but a decline in academic scores for content mastery and readiness to advance to the next grade. These drops were not unexpected. State test scores released in July showed scores have risen as of 2021 but remained well below pre-pandemic levels.

Nationally, elementary school students scored 63 in content mastery, compared to 68.7 on a 100-point scale in 2019. Middle school students’ scores fell from 67.6 to 60, while high school students’ scores fell from 70 to 64.7 .


The willingness to move on to the next grade at school also fell from 81 to 71.8 in primary school, from 82.9 to 75.1 in middle school and from 74.5 to 73.2 in high school.

Readiness scores are not the same as 2019 because 2022 numbers do not include student attendance for all students or college and career readiness for senior high school students.

However, the proportion of high school graduates in four years increased from 82.6% in 2019 to 84.7% in 2022.

“We know the pandemic has had an undeniable impact on student learning,” State Superintendent Richard Woods said in a statement. “It is our role, responsibility and privilege to ensure districts and schools have the resources they need to continue investing in students and combating the impact of lost learning opportunities.”

The state has hired academic recovery specialists to work with schools, provided grants to expand after-school and summer programs, provided teaching aids, and established an office to support rural schools.

The federal government has waived some of the requirements for the state’s standard evaluation system. Georgia said it couldn’t reliably calculate some numbers because there were no tests in 2020 and wildly different proportions of students taking tests from school to school in 2021.

Normally, schools and districts are rated on a single 100-point scale in what’s called the College and Career Ready Performance Index, with a letter grade being awarded based on the score.

Georgia did not administer its standardized Spring 2020 Milestones tests to students in grades 3 through 8 and high school and did not produce grades after that year. The state also didn’t issue grades based on the 2021 tests, meaning schools last received new grades in 2019.