Special Report
Education

Sources and Notes

June 05, 2009 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

DEFINING READINESS

College-readiness definition: State has formal expectations for what students will need to know and be able to do in order to be admitted to state’s two-year and/or four-year institutions and enroll in credit-bearing courses. State approaches to defining college readiness have been classified into the following categories: courses, skills, standards, and tests. Some states’ definitions may include elements that do not fall into categories established for this analysis. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey (2008-09 school year), 2008.

Work-readiness definition: K-12 education system has formal expectations for what high school students will need to know and be able to do in order to be prepared for work. State approaches to defining work readiness have been classified into the following categories: courses, skills, standards, and tests. Some states’ definitions may include elements that do not fall into categories established for this analysis. Ibid.

Diplomas Count 2009
Research
Gauging Graduation, Pinpointing Progress
District Map: Graduation-Rate Changes, 1996-2006
Table: State-by-State Grad Rates in the U.S.
Graduation Rates for 50 Largest Districts
State of the States
Consensus on Meaning of ‘Readiness’ Remains Elusive
Story: State of the States
Table: Grad Policies: Class of 2009
Sources & Notes

Distinct definitions of readiness: K-12 education system has different definitions of college readiness and work readiness. Ibid.

HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION CREDENTIALS

Credits to earn standard diploma: Credit requirements are expressed in Carnegie units unless otherwise specified. One Carnegie unit is equivalent to one year of coursework. Credits reflect minimum or default course requirements mandated by state for standard high school diploma. Education Commission of the States, Standard High School Graduation Requirements (50-state), 2008.

Standard diploma options: Indicates types of regular diplomas issued by state: standard, college preparatory, and/or career-technical specialization. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey (2008-09 school year), 2008.

Advanced recognition for exceeding standard requirements: State offers advanced diploma or other form of recognition for students who exceed requirements of standard diploma by completing additional coursework, achieving high grade point average (GPA), or other accomplishments. Ibid.

Focus for advanced recognition: State awards honors for accomplishments in core academic subjects and/or accomplishments in career-technical program. Ibid.

Basis for advanced recognition: State awards honors for accomplishments in one or more of the following areas: courses, GPA, and tests. Some states have requirements that do not fall into categories used in this analysis. Ibid.

How Does the EPE Research Center Calculate Graduation Rates?

Diplomas Count uses the Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI) method to calculate high school graduation rates for American public schools. This approach allows the EPE Research Center to compute the percent of public high school students who graduate on time with a diploma.

The CPI method represents the high school experience as a process rather than an event, capturing the four key steps a student must take in order to graduate: three grade-to-grade promotions (9 to 10, 10 to 11, and 11 to 12) and ultimately earning a diploma (grade 12 to graduation). Each of these individual components corresponds to a grade-promotion ratio. Multiplying these four grade-specific promotion ratios together produces the graduation rate.

Different methods for calculating a graduation rate may employ different definitions of a “graduate.” The CPI method adheres to the guidelines established under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, by counting only students receiving standard high school diplomas as graduates. Recipients of General Educational Development diplomas, certificates of attendance, and other nondiploma credentials are treated as nongraduates in this context. States are likewise mandated to adopt a similar definition of a graduate for the rates they calculate for adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the federal law (although they may adopt different definitions for other purposes).

The 2009 edition of Diplomas Count presents a new analysis of graduation rates for the high school class of 2006, the most recent year for which information is available. Data for 2006 and prior years were obtained from the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data (CCD). The CCD, an annual census of all public schools and school districts in the country, also provided thew data on district characteristics used in this report’s analyses of expected graduation rates and improvements.

Several states—Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Utah—did not report 2005-06 diploma counts to the CCD. In addition, those data points for the District of Columbia did not meet U.S. Department of Education reporting standards and were unavailable. In these instances, the EPE Research Center obtained diploma data directly from the respective state education agencies.

The EPE Research Center calculates graduation rates for all school districts in the country that issue diplomas (that is to say, those with a 12th grade). Statistics for the nation and states are generated by aggregating district-level data upward.

Alternative credential for not meeting all standard requirements: State offers credential, such as certificate of attendance, for students not meeting criteria for standard diploma. Ibid.

Basis for alternative credential: State offers alternative credential for students with disabilities or those young people failing exit exams, although other students may be eligible in some states. Ibid.

Industry certificate or license: State offers high school students option of participating in career or technical program or pathway that leads to industry-recognized certificate or license. Ibid.

HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAMS

State has exit exam: State requires that students pass exit exam or one or more end-of-course exams in order to graduate. EPE Research Center annual state policy survey (2008-09 school year), 2008.

Subjects tested: Academic subject areas covered on state exit exams. Ibid.

Exam based on standards for 10th grade or higher: State has exit exam(s) aligned to state 10th grade standards or higher in at least one academic subject. This includes exams that cover standards from 9th to 11th grades or end-of-course exams for courses that are typically taken in 10th grade or above. Ibid.

Financing for remediation: State provides at least partial financial support for remediation of students who fail exit exams. Ibid.

Appeals process or alternative route: State allows students to appeal after failing exit exam or has alternative route students can take to earn standard diploma. Ibid.

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!


Content provided by Panorama
Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Tiny Wrists in Cuffs: How Police Use Force Against Children
An investigation finds children as young as 6 and a disproportionate amount of Black children have been handled forcibly by police officers.
15 min read
Jhaimarion, 10, reacts as he listens to his mother, Krystal Archie talking with an Associated Press reporter in Chicago on Sept. 23, 2021. Archie’s three children were present when police, on two occasions, just 11 weeks apart, kicked open her front door and tore through their home searching for drug suspects. She’d never heard of the people they were hunting. Her oldest child, Savannah was 14 at the time; her youngest, Jhaimarion, was seven. They were ordered to get down on the floor.
Jhaimarion, 10, reacts as he listens to his mother, Krystal Archie talking with an Associated Press reporter in Chicago on Sept. 23, 2021. Archie’s three children were present when police, on two occasions, just 11 weeks apart, kicked open her front door and tore through their home searching for drug suspects. She’d never heard of the people they were hunting. Her oldest child, Savannah was 14 at the time; her youngest, Jhaimarion, was seven. They were ordered to get down on the floor.
Nam Y. Huh/AP
Education Gunman in 2018 Parkland School Massacre Pleads Guilty
A jury will decide whether Nikolas Cruz will be executed for one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.
3 min read
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education Briefly Stated: October 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Gunman in Parkland School Massacre to Plead Guilty
The gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Florida high school will plead guilty to their murders, his attorneys said.
4 min read
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP