(WXIA) -- The public school graduation rate in Georgia continues to climb.
The Georgia Department of Education announced Wednesday that the state's graduation rate was 71.5 percent in 2013 -- almost two points higher than in 2012 and four points above 2011's rate.
Every state uses a U.S. Department of Education-mandated four-year adjusted cohort rate to calculate graduations. It tracks the number of students who graduate from high school within the standard four years.
State superintendent Dr. John Barge said the more rigorous calculation method still shows an increase in Georgia's graduation rate.
"Despite the economic challenges our districts are facing, we have more high school students graduating today than we have had in several years, which is a testament to the hard work of our students and teachers," Barge said in a statement.
Cherokee County's 2013 four-year graduation rate was 78 percent.