Diplomas Count 2010: Graduation by the Numbers
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The Editorial Projects in Education Research Center is engaged in a multi-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 2010 installment of Diplomas Count investigates how data and analysis are being used to boost graduation rates and improve student learning across diverse communities and school environments. The advent of modern data-systems technology and the ascendance of strong federal accountability requirements under No Child Left Behind have given school systems increasing access to rich student data as well as the incentive to use that information to drive school reform. With 1.3 million high school students failing to earn a diploma, data-driven strategies have become an essential tool for combating the nation’s dropout crisis.

The fifth edition of the Diplomas Count report explores how the innovative use of data is driving change in school systems across the country. By profiling efforts under way in four leading school districts, Education Week’s journalists delve into early-warning systems that reduce dropout rates by identifying students at risk of failure; consider ways that insights from deep data analysis can result in tailored interventions; and examine how an infusion of federal stimulus dollars can strengthen national and local cultures of innovation built on data.

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 2010 provides updated graduation-rate findings for the class of 2007, 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. 29, Issue 34

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