Diplomas Count 2011: Beyond High School, Before Baccalaureate: Meaningful Alternatives to a Four-Year Degree
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Editorial Projects in Education is engaged in an ongoing study of high school graduation and issues related 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 2011 installment of Diplomas Count, produced with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, investigates how much and what kind of postsecondary education is needed for Americans to prosper. The report explores the pros and cons of new thinking about the viability of high school-to-career pathways short of a four-year college. Education Week’s journalists delve into such pathways as community colleges, for-profit schools, occupational certificates, and revamped career-and-technical programs.

The 6th edition of Diplomas Count also features a new analysis from the EPE Research Center that examines the report’s special theme, by drawing connections between educational histories, labor-market experiences, and career backgrounds. The analysis explores a set of 50 “subbaccalaureate” occupations, where most workers have some postsecondary education but less than a four-year degree.

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 2011 provides updated graduation-rate findings for the class of 2008, 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 the epicenters of the dropout crisis—the 25 school systems that collectively account for one-fifth of the nation’s nongraduates.

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. 30, Issue 34

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