ERIC Number: ED480915
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Keeping Count and Losing Count: Calculating Graduation Rates for All Students under NCLB Accountability.
Swanson, Christopher B.
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 requires that public elementary and secondary school systems be held accountable for achieving high levels of educational proficiency for all students. While achievement testing is the central component of state accountability systems under NCLB, these systems must include graduation rates as an academic accountability indicator at the high school level. This study summarizes provisions in NCLB that pertain to high school graduation rates. It examines the changing role of high school graduation rates as accountability indicators, noting implications for racial and ethnic minority groups and their school systems. This study analyzes the differences that exist among the measurement of dropout, graduation, and completion rates; the way each is calculated may affect reported high school graduation statistics. Researchers calculated graduation rates using the Common Core of Data, U.S. Department of Education's census of local educational agencies and schools. Overall, graduation rates are likely to be much lower than the 85-90 percent that prevails in the conventional wisdom, with as few as two-thirds of high school students nationwide graduating with a regular diploma. Although a small number of states have graduation rates up to 80 percent, others have rates below 55 percent for average students. Graduation rates are close to 75 percent for white and Asian students but around 50 percent for average-performing Native American, Hispanic American, and African American students. Even in high-performing states, graduation rates are much lower for these minority students than for white and Asian students. (Contains 30 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accountability, Data Analysis, Data Collection, Disadvantaged Youth, Dropout Rate, Dropout Research, Educational Legislation, Graduation, Graduation Rate, High School Graduates, Minority Group Children, Racial Differences, Secondary Education, Validity
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001