Special Report
College & Workforce Readiness

Mapping Out High School Graduation

June 19, 2006 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The EPE Research Center mapped 2002-03 graduation rates for public school districts across the nation. Low levels of graduation (shown in red) predominate in urban centers nationwide as well as in the largely rural communities of the South, Southeast, and Southwest. The national graduation rate is 69.6 percent.

2002-2003 High School Graduation Rates by State

SOURCE: EPE Research Center, 2006

(Download a high-resolution printable version of this map (PDF; 9 MB; this is a large download) showing the district graduation rates and boundaries.)

NOTE: Map image courtesy of ESRI, a Redlands, Calif., company that designs and develops geographic information system (GIS) technology. District graduation rates were calculated by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center using the Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI) method. Graduation rates could be directly computed for districts serving 93 percent of all public school students in the country. In a small number of cases where values could not be directly calculated, the EPE Research Center estimated a rate based on a nationwide statistical analysis that takes into account graduation-rate patterns observed for other public school districts with similar characteristics.

How does the EPE Research Center calculate graduation rates?

Calculation Formula

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge: Calculation Formula

Diplomas Count uses the Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI) method to calculate graduation rates. The CPI estimates the probability that a student in the 9th grade will complete high school on time with a regular diploma. Graduating from high school is represented as a process rather than a single event. The CPI rate captures 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). The formula below illustrates the CPI formula for calculating graduation rates for the class of 2002- 03, the most recent year of data available from the U.S. Department of Education’s Common Core of Data.

Online Mapping Tool

Later this week, the online version of Diplomas Count will offer a powerful mapping tool – permitting users to zoom in on each of the nation’s school districts, and produce a standardized report that compares district, state, and national figures. Users will be able to navigate easily to school districts they are interested in analyzing, download reports that include maps and tables with relevant data, and see how their district compares with others in the state and nation.

See how the state graduation numbers look coming out of that application

2002-2003 High School Graduation Rates by State

SOURCE: EPE Research Center, 2006

Related Tags:


School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 
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.
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
Supporting 21st Century Skills with a Whole-Child Focus
What skills do students need to succeed in the 21st century? Explore the latest strategies to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
Content provided by Panorama Education

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

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion How to Make College More Affordable? Try the Charter School Model
A new organization is exploring how to make space for new colleges to emerge that also challenge the status quo.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness In Their Own Words Stories of Tenacity: 3 First-Generation College-Bound Students Keep Their Dreams on Track
The pandemic upended college plans for more than a million young people, but not these seniors.
6 min read
Araceli Alarcon and Nathanael Severn, seniors at San Luis Obispo High School, pictured in downtown San Luis Obispo, Calif., on June 7, 2022.
Araceli Alarcon and Nathanael Severn, seniors at San Luis Obispo High School, in San Luis Obispo, Calif., will be the first in their families to attend college. While the pandemic complicated their plans, both teenagers persisted in their path to start college this fall.
Morgan Lieberman for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says 5 Ways to Make Online Credit Recovery Work Better for Struggling Students
Seven out of 10 districts use online programs for credit recovery.
5 min read
Image of person's hands using a laptop and writing in a notebook
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion High School Graduation Is Down. There Are No Quick Fixes
Online credit-recovery programs are popular, but many shortchange students, write Robert Balfanz and Karen Hawley Miles.
Robert Balfanz & Karen Hawley Miles
4 min read
Illustration of students climbing broken ladders
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty