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High School Graduation Rates

"Federal High School Graduation Rate Policies and the Impact on States"

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A new report analyzes the changes that each state might have to make in its graduation-rate policy and calculations in order to conform to new federal regulations.

The study is a set of briefs examining the gaps between each state’s current graduation-rate practice and policy, and the regulations issued last October by former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. It was released March 18 by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington-based group that advocates for high school improvement.

The regulations require all states to use an "adjusted four-year cohort" approach to calculating graduation rates for federal accountability purposes by 2011-12. That means they have to track the portion of each incoming freshman class that graduates with standard diplomas four years later, adjusting for students who transfer in or out, and those who emigrate or die.

The analysis also examines the changes that each state needs to make in its data system in order to calculate four-year cohort rates.

Vol. 28, Issue 27, Page 5

Published in Print: April 1, 2009, as High School Graduation Rates
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