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ERIC Number: EJ851783
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Calculating Graduation Rates: We Can Do Better
Bracey, Gerald W.
Principal Leadership, v9 n9 p58-60 May 2009
The statistic of choice to prove that U.S. schools are failing has changed over time. First, it was test scores that meant they could not keep up with Japan. More recently it has become graduation rate. Often accompanying the graduation rate in the failure litany is the drop-out rate. NCLB puts additional pressure on dropout counts because it calls on schools to improve their graduation rates. One would think the calculation of the graduation rate and its "inverse," the drop-out rate, would be a straightforward matter. One counts the number of students entering ninth grade and the number exiting with diplomas four years later. The latter divided by the former would provide the graduation rate. That is a sensible way to start, but it is not the way it is done and it would not be perfect even if it were. There are complicating factors. Calculating the drop-out rate and the graduation rate has generated some intense debates. In this article, the author contends that although it may never be a perfect science, the calculation of an "official" graduation rate can be improved and other meaningful factors can be reported.
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 12; Grade 9; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001