ERIC Number: ED298184
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Standardizing School Dropout Measures. CPRE Research Report Series.
Williams, Patricia A.
Dropout rates reported by states and school districts are produced by a variety of accounting procedures. Since these rates are difficult to compare and interpret, they fail to correctly measure the dropout rate. A uniform definition of school dropout is needed. The degree of variation was examined by analyzing 21 local definitions. The five largest sources of variation were the following: (1) grade levels used in calculating rates; (2) ages of students who can be classified as dropouts; (3) accounting periods for calculating rates; (4) time periods for unexplained absence; and (5) acceptable alternative educational settings. For many districts adopting a uniform definition might require additional resources and technical assistance. Publication of the rate is a sensitive issue. Solutions to these problems require compromise that will probably result in less than perfect but more accurate dropout data. (VM)
Descriptors: Age Grade Placement, Attendance, Definitions, Dropout Rate, Dropout Research, Dropouts, Elementary Secondary Education, High School Equivalency Programs, Measurement Techniques, Nontraditional Education
Center for Policy Research in Education, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Researchers
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Washington, DC.; Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.; Center for Policy Research in Education.; Rutgers, The State Univ., New Brunswick, NJ.