Diplomas Count 2012: Trailing Behind, Moving Forward

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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, EPE publishes a special edition of Education Week devoted to critical issues facing efforts to improve the nation’s high schools.

The 2012 installment of Diplomas Count focuses on the nation’s growing Latino student population, which comprises one in five public school students in the United States. In the report, Education Week’s journalists investigate the cultural, financial, language, and legal challenges Latino youths encounter in pursuing academic success in the face of daunting statistics that suggest they are far more likely to drop out of high school and much less likely to attend and finish college than their white peers.

This seventh edition of Diplomas Count also features a new analysis from the EPE Research Center that highlights a nationwide group of large, predominantly Latino school systems that are beating the odds when it comes to graduation rates for Latinos. The center also identifies 25 school districts that account for 37 percent of the nation’s Latino nongraduates for the class of 2012.

In a perennial highlight of the report, the EPE Research Center releases its latest comprehensive analysis of public high school graduation rates, using the Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI) method. This year, Diplomas Count provides updated graduation-rate findings for the class of 2009, 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 districts. In addition, the report reviews state policies on graduation for the class of 2012 and provides an update on state progress to implement federally mandated uniform graduation-rate calculations.

In addition to the print edition of the report, online-only features of Diplomas Count include a multimedia gallery, 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 explore interactive maps and download a special report for any school district in the country, which includes comparisons to state and national statistics.

Vol. 31, Issue 34

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