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Published in Print: June 22, 2006, as Sources and Notes

Sources and Notes

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Implementing Graduation Accountability Under NCLB

Calculating graduation rates, formula used to calculate graduation rates for NCLB (2005-06): Editorial Projects in Education Research Center analysis of graduation-rate formulas described in state accountability workbooks approved by the U.S. Department of Education (as of April 20, 2006) and supplemental state documentation.

Graduation-rate performance goals for adequate yearly progress (AYP), current target (2005-06): The current target is the graduation rate that schools and school districts are expected to achieve in order to make AYP for the 2005-06 school year. Ibid.

Graduation-rate performance goals for adequate yearly progress (AYP), final target (2013-14): The final target is the graduation rate that schools and school districts will be expected to achieve in order to make AYP for the 2013-14 school year. Ibid.

Graduation-rate performance goals for adequate yearly progress (AYP), minimum annual improvement: This indicator reports the minimum amount of annual improvement that schools and school districts that do not reach graduation-rate targets are expected to achieve to make AYP. Ibid.

Data systems, state tracks high school completion status of individual students: State has a data system capable of calculating a graduation rate as defined by the 2005 National Governors Association compact. Data Quality Campaign, 2006, www.dataqualitycampaign.org/activities/elements.cfm.

What It Takes to Graduate

Coursetaking requirements for a standard diploma: Course requirements are expressed in Carnegie units unless otherwise specified. One Carnegie unit is equivalent to one year of coursework. Credits reflect the minimum course requirements mandated by the state for a standard high school diploma.

Number of math credits required by state to earn a standard high school diploma: Education Commission of the States, “Standard High School Graduation Requirements (50-state),” 2006, http://mb2.ecs.org/reports/Report.aspx?id=735. Figures independently verified by the EPE Research Center.

Number of English/language arts credits required by state to earn a standard high school diploma: Ibid.

Number of science credits required by state to earn a standard high school diploma: Ibid.

Number of history/social studies credits required by state to earn a standard high school diploma: Ibid.

Number of credits in other subjects required by state to earn a standard high school diploma: This indicator includes credits in subjects other than mathematics, English/language arts, science, and history/social studies, as well as state-required credits whose subject content is locally determined. Ibid.

Total credits required by state to earn a standard high school diploma: Ibid.

State Exit Exams

State has exit exam: States receiving a check in this column require that students pass an exit exam or one or more end-of-course exams in order to graduate. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2006.

Subjects tested on state exit exam: Ibid.

State exit-exam type: State exit exams are grouped into three categories based on states’ descriptions of their tests: minimum-competency exams, standards-based exams, and end-of-course exams. Minimum-competency exams typically assess students on material below the high school level. Standards-based exams test students on state standards and are based on high school level standards. End-of-course exams assess students’ knowledge of material in particular courses they have completed. Center on Education Policy, “State High School Exit Exams: States Try Harder, But Gaps Persist,” 2005, www.cep-dc.org/highschoolexit/reportAug2005/hseeAug2005.pdf.

State exit exam based on standards for 10th grade or higher: States receiving a check in this column have exit or end-of-course exams aligned to state 10th grade standards or higher. This includes tests that cover standards from 9th to 11th grades, or end-of-course tests for courses that are typically taken in 10th grade or above. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey, 2006.

State has an appeals process or alternative route for students who fail the exit exam: States receiving a check in this column allow students to appeal after failing an exit or end-of-course exam or have an alternate route students can take to earn a standard diploma. Ibid.

High School Completion Credentials

State has multiple standard-diploma options: States receiving a check in this column have more than one standard diploma option, such as an academic or career/technical endorsement. EPE Research Center analysis of state statutes related to graduation requirements, 2006.

Advanced recognition for exceeding standard requirements: States receiving a check in this column offer an advanced diploma or other form of recognition for students who exceed the requirements of the standard diploma, by completing additional coursework, achieving a higher minimum grade point average, or other accomplishments. Ibid.

Alternative credential for not meeting all standard requirements. States receiving a check in this column offer a credential for students not meeting the criteria for a standard diploma, such as a certificate for students who fail the exit exam but meet all other graduation requirements. Ibid.

Minimum-Age Policies

Compulsory age for public school attendance: Age at which school attendance is no longer required. Column shows minimum-age rules that apply to the most students in each state. U.S. Department of Labor, “Employment Related Provisions in State Compulsory School Attendance Laws,” 2006, www.dol.gov/esa/programs/whd/state/schoolattend.htm.

Minimum age at which students can take the GED test: General Educational Development Testing Service of the American Council on Education, “Who Passed the GED Tests? 2004 Statistical Report,” January 2006.

Vol. 25, Issue 41S, Page 30

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