Published Online: July 12, 2005
Published in Print: July 13, 2005, as Graduation Predictor

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Graduation Predictor

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A new study has found that students’ course performance as freshmen can help predict whether they will graduate from high school four years later, providing an early warning sign to parents, teachers, and schools.

The study, by the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago, looked at the number of credits earned by 9th graders and the number of courses they failed to determine whether they were “on track” to finish high school. It found that “on track” freshmen in the Chicago Public Schools—those who earned at least five full course credits and failed no more than one semester in English, mathematics, science, or social studies—were three and one-half times more likely to graduate in four years than their “off track” peers. Moreover, this “on track” indicator was a better predictor of graduation than students’ prior test scores or background characteristics.

Vol. 24, Issue 42, Page 15

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