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Graduation rates increasing
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Dawson County High School is seeing an increase in graduation rates from last year.

In 2012, the Dawson saw 79.8 percent of students graduating high school. This year, the rate is up to 84.1 percent - 190 of the 226 seniors set to graduate at the end of May, according to a report released on Wednesday.

State Superintendent John Barge said the numbers are based off of a new "adjusted cohort rate."

"Under a more rigorous calculation method, the trend still shows that the percentage of our high school students graduating increases year to year," he said. "Despite the economic challenges our districts are facing, we have more high school students graduating today than we ever have before, which is a testament to the hard work of our students and teachers."

The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate defines the cohort based on when a student first becomes a freshman. The rate is calculated using the number of students who graduate within four years and includes adjustments for student transfers.

In contrast, Georgia's former graduation rate calculation defined the cohort upon graduation, which may have included students who took more than four years to graduate from high school.

The numbers exceed the state percentage of 71.5 percent of students graduating, though the state also saw an increase from 69.7 percent.