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ERIC Number: ED498647
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Mar-24
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Confronting the Graduation Rate Crisis in California
Civil Rights Project at Harvard University
Every year, across the country, a dangerously high percentage of students--disproportionately poor and minority--disappear from the educational pipeline before graduating from high school. Nationally, only about 68% of all students who enter 9th grade will graduate "on time" with regular diplomas in 12th grade. While the graduation rate for white students is 75%, only approximately half of Black, Latino, and Native American students earn regular diplomas alongside their classmates. Graduation rates are even lower for Black, Latino and Native American males. Yet, because of misleading and inaccurate reporting of dropout and graduation rates, the public remains largely unaware of this educational and civil rights crisis. California's failure to graduate so many of its students is a tragic story of wasted human potential and tremendous economic loss. When high numbers of youth leave school ill-prepared to contribute to our labor force and to civic life, our economy and our democracy suffer. Life opportunities for these youth and for their offspring are dramatically curtailed. This report recommends that until the single identifier system is functioning in California, the state should use Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI) for both reporting and accountability purposes. For accountability purposes the state should set a clear floor and the floor should be calculated for major racial groups, not just students in the aggregate. Schools and districts should be given rewards for schools or districts falling below the floor but that make substantial and steady progress over a number of years toward the goal. The state should provide substantial technical assistance to struggling schools and districts, especially toward improving the rates for Latinos, Blacks and Native Americans. Adequate-yearly-progress (AYP) sanctions should be reserved only for districts that consistently make little or no progress toward the goal. (Contains 21 footnotes.)
Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. 124 Mount Auburn Street 500 North, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-496-6367; Fax: 617-495-5210; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Harvard Civil Rights Project, Cambridge, MA.
Identifiers - Location: California