ERIC Number: ED500832
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Real Truth about Low Graduation Rates, An Evidence-Based Commentary
Swanson, Christopher B.
Urban Institute (NJ1)
Achievement testing is the centerpiece of the state accountability systems mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Accordingly, the public attention directed towards achievement scores has largely eclipsed the crucial role that graduation rates play in NCLB accountability, at least until recently. As a new body of research on graduation rates is gaining wider currency, we are just now coming to an uncomfortable realization: the nation appears to be facing a crisis in high school completion. These findings have prompted much-needed investigations into several key issues: the origins of the law's concern about graduation rates; status of graduates and dropouts for NCLB accountability; the consequences of using different ways to define and measure graduation rates; and state strategies for incorporating graduation rates into their federal accountability plans. This paper draws on recent research and analysis from the Urban Institute in an attempt to clarify these issues and to offer a foundation upon which to ground on-going policy debates, future research into the graduation and dropout phenomena, and the shape of the next generation of educational accountability systems. (Contains 9 endnotes and 4 tables.) [This report was produced by the Urban Institute's Education Policy Center (EPC). This paper is a revised version of a presentation made to the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco on August 15, 2004.]
Descriptors: Educational Research, Public Education, High School Students, Dropout Research, Urban Schools, Educational Policy, Investigations, Graduation Rate, Federal Legislation, Dropouts, Graduation, Accountability, Racial Differences
Urban Institute. 2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 202-261-5687; Fax: 202-467-5775; Web site: http://www.urban.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: Urban Inst., Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001