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ERIC Number: ED513392
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
4-Year Cohort Graduation Rate: Overview
Pennsylvania Department of Education
Federal law requires Pennsylvania, and all other states, to transition to a new calculation method for determining high school graduation rates. Beginning in 2012, using graduation data from the Classes of 2010 and 2011, the "4-Year Cohort Graduation Rate" calculation will replace the "4-Year Leaver Graduation Rate" calculation. The new methodology will be used to determine high school and district Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status for all students and for every measurable subgroup. The "cohort" calculation method generates a different rate than the "leaver rate calculation" currently in use. The cohort calculation is almost always a lower percentage of graduates based on a different calculation methodology. It is important for stakeholders to understand, and to be able to communicate, why the publicly-reported numbers may look different even though there is no fundamental or underlying change in a school's circumstances. The difference is the result of the method used to calculate the rate. The new methodology provides a more uniform and precise measure of the high school graduation rate--one which can then be used for comparison with other states. Accurate data from the local education authority (LEA) and charter schools is key to successful implementation. Improved data collection, reporting and analysis that links data systems from preschool through postsecondary education will allow for a more accurate picture upon which to base decisions at the district, school and student levels. The methodology will improve everyone's understanding of the characteristics of the students who do not earn regular high school diplomas, or who take longer than four years to graduate. The 4-Year Cohort Graduation Rate will help inform efforts to ensure all Pennsylvania students are prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. This paper summarizes information and lists resources to assist LEAs and charter schools in understanding the 4-Year Cohort Graduation Rate, the use of the rate for accountability purposes, and the transition steps to fully reporting and utilizing the new graduation calculation. (Contains 1 footnote and 4 resources.)
Pennsylvania Department of Education. 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333. Tel: 717-783-6788; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pennsylvania Department of Education
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania