NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: ED531421
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Pages: 41
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 33
Using the Freshman On-Track Indicator to Predict Graduation in Two Urban Districts in the Midwest Region. Issues & Answers. REL 2012-No. 134
Norbury, Heather; Wong, Manyee; Wan, Yinmei; Reese, Kelly; Dhillon, Sonica; Gerdeman, R. Dean
Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest
Recent estimates suggest that of U.S. public high school freshmen in the fall of 2005 24.5 percent did not graduate on time in 2008/09 (Stillwell, Sable, and Plotts 2011). As states and school districts attempt to boost graduation rates, they face the challenge of identifying which students are at risk of not graduating on time. Early warning indicators based on measurable student outcomes and behaviors could help identify students at risk while there is still time to redirect their trajectory away from dropping out or falling behind. The current study focuses on the freshman on-track indicator developed by the Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR). The current study examined three research questions for two urban districts in the Midwest Region: (1) What were the freshman on-track and off-track rates for recent cohorts, overall and by student background subgroup?; (2) How did four-year in-district graduation rates compare for on-track and off-track freshmen in recent cohorts, overall and by student background subgroup?; and (3) To what extent does the on-track indicator predict four-year graduation rates for recent cohorts in each district, after accounting for baseline student background characteristics? The main results of the study are the following: (1) For both districts, students who were on track at the end of grade 9 graduated on time at a higher rate than did students who were off track. This was the case both overall and for every student background subgroup examined in each district; (2) For both districts, the on-track indicator was a significant predictor of on-time high school graduation, even after controlling for student background characteristics and for student assessment test scores in grade 8. The odds of on-time graduation for students who were on track at the end of their freshman year was estimated to be 6.6 times that of students who had similar characteristics but were off track at the end of their freshman year for District A and 5.5 times for District B; and (3) For both districts, the effect size of being on track compared with being off track (as measured by increases in the odds of graduating) was larger than the effect size for every student background characteristic and for grade 8 assessment test scores. The pattern of results in this study is similar to that of prior studies (Allensworth and Easton 2005; Hartman et al. 2011), with some differences in overall on-track rates, on-track rates for particular student subgroups, and the degree to which the on-track indicator differentiates between graduates and nongraduates. Appended are: (1) Study data and analysis; (2) Determination of on-track status and graduation status; (3) Analytic samples; (4) Graduation rates for freshmen in the 2005/06 and 2006/07 cohorts; and (5) Regression model specifications and results. (Contains 1 box, 8 figures, 8 tables and 17 notes.) [For "Using the Freshman On-Track Indicator to Predict Graduation in Two Urban Districts in the Midwest Region. Summary. Issues & Answers. REL 2012-No. 134," see ED531422.]
Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest. Available from: Learning Point Associates. 1120 East Diehl Road Suite 200, Naperville, IL 60563. Tel: 866-730-6735; Fax: 630-649-6700; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 9; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest (ED)
IES Funded: Yes