Students who were high school sophomores in 2002—at the start of the No Child Left Behind Act’s accountability wave—ended up in dramatically different places 10 years later, depending on whether they continued their education.
New federal longitudinal data find that 48 percent of students who started 10th grade in 2002 had not earned any kind of college degree or certification in the decade since. And 27 percent who did not go on to college were unemployed or otherwise out of the labor force a decade later, compared with 6 percent of those who earned at least a bachelor’s degree.
The data come from the federal Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, which has tracked more than 13,000 students who started 10th grade in 2002 for 10 years so far.
A version of this article appeared in the January 22, 2014 edition of Education Week as College Credentials Elusive for 2002 Sophomores