Diplomas Count 2009: Broader Horizons
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With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center is engaged in a four-year project to study high school graduation and related issues pertaining to late-secondary schooling and the transition to postsecondary education and employment. As part of this work, Editorial Projects in Education publishes a special edition of Education Week devoted to critical issues facing efforts to improve the nation’s high schools.

The 2009 installment of Diplomas Count investigates one of the most critical issues facing the nation from both an educational and an economic perspective: meeting the challenge to prepare all students for college. The report maps out the national policy and reform landscape that defines the college-ready agenda, including: economic imperatives, federal and state strategies, and continued debates over key aspects of the agenda. Education Week’s journalists profile one school’s efforts to nurture a college-going culture, examine how better data systems can help support readiness initiatives, and show how one state is working to put information about college preparation in the hands of educators.

Another centerpiece of Editorial Projects in Education’s Graduation Project is the EPE Research Center’s comprehensive analysis of public high school graduation rates, using its Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI) method. Diplomas Count 2009 provides updated graduation-rate findings for the class of 2006, the most recent year for which data are available. Results are reported for the United States as a whole, the states, and the nation’s 50 largest school systems. In a special investigation, the center also identifies several dozen big-city school systems that are exceeding expectations when it comes to high school graduation.

In addition to the print edition of the report, online-only features of Diplomas Count include state-specific policy reports and state-by-state indicators accessible through the Education Counts database. EdWeek Maps, a Web-based geographical tool, also allows users to create interactive maps and download a special report for any school district in the country, which includes comparisons to state and national statistics.

Vol. 28, Issue 34

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Diplomas Count is produced with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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