College & Workforce Readiness Report Roundup

Schooling Age

By Sarah D. Sparks — August 07, 2012 1 min read

Raising the age for compulsory schooling to 18, as President Barack Obama proposed in his 2012 State of the Union address, does not necessarily increase the number of students who eventually graduate from high school with a diploma, an analysis by the Washington-based Brookings Institution says.

The study analyzed the average freshman graduation rates of states with and without mandatory school attendance ages from 1994 to 2009 and found no consistent relationship between those requirements and graduation rates. States with a compulsory schooling age of 16 or 17 had average graduation rates of 77 percent, compared with 75 percent for states that required students to stay in school until age 18.

A version of this article appeared in the August 08, 2012 edition of Education Week

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