ERIC Number: ED331903
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-May
Reference Count: N/A
Accurate Dropout Reporting Procedures Needed.
Ponessa, Joan M.
Public Affairs Focus, n12 May 1990
Despite statewide standards, the accuracy of statistical data on dropouts reported by New Jersey schools appears to vary considerably from district to district. Moreover, statewide dropout rates differ significantly depending on the method of calculation used. Several different methodologies, which incorporate unverified information collected from local school districts, result in the reporting of different statewide dropout rates in national and state reports. None of these methods includes information on individual students, or on students who drop out of elementary school. Varying interpretations of state dropout reporting requirements and the wide range of dropout rates reported by districts underscore the need for more carefully defined criteria for district reporting as well as evaluations of the accuracy of the reported data. However, the additional information needed to accurately compute the dropout rate would place huge demands on urban districts, most of which have little or no computerized support due to financial constraints as well as to reluctance to adapt to new technologies. The Department of Education must emphasize the requirement for reporting presecondary dropouts and incorporate that information in the calculation of statewide dropout rates. A statewide electronic student tracking system, interconnected to district data bases, appears to be the only realistic solution to overseeing student enrollment status and relieving the ever-growing reporting burdens on urban districts. (FMW)
Descriptors: Dropout Rate, Dropout Research, Elementary Secondary Education, School Statistics, State Surveys, Statistical Analysis, Statistical Data, Statistical Studies, Urban Schools
Public Affairs Research Institute of New Jersey, Inc., 212 Carnegie Center, Suite 100, Princeton, NJ 08540-6212.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Researchers
Authoring Institution: Public Affairs Research Inst. of New Jersey, Inc.
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey