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.
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The 2008 installment of the annual Diplomas Count report explores the rapid growth of state-level P-16 councils. By bringing together key representatives from all levels of education, state government, business, and the community, the councils seek to better align educational institutions from preschool through postsecondary. High on the agenda for many of these groups are efforts to create a more seamless schooling continuum that prepares high school students for life, work, and further education. The report provides in-depth analysis of the evolution and activities of P-16 councils, case studies of three states’ experiences with such councils, and commentaries from four leading experts in the field.
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 2008 provides updated graduation-rate findings for the class of 2005, the most recent year available. Results are reported for the United States as a whole, the states, and the nation’s 50 largest school systems. For the first time, this year’s edition of Diplomas Count also includes graduation rates by U.S. congressional district in an attempt to inform the lawmakers crafting the policies that shape the nation’s public schools.
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. 27, Issue 40, Page Web onlyPublished in Print: June 5, 2008, as Graduation Briefs