Diplomas Count 2008 – Dropping Out of High School

As the nation struggles to close its graduation gap, Diplomas Count 2008 examines states’ efforts to forge stronger connections between precollegiate and postsecondary education.
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Nationwide, about 71 percent of 9th graders make it to graduation four years later, according to data from 2005, the latest available. And that figure drops to 58 percent for Hispanics, 55 percent for African-Americans, and 51 percent for Native Americans.

Those rates improved slightly from 2004 to 2005 for all groups, but large gaps remain across states. While more than eight in 10 students graduate on time in Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin, for example, the proportion drops to fewer than six in 10 in the District of Columbia, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and South Carolina.

Analyses conducted for Diplomas Count by the EPE Research Center also continue to show wide disparities between state-reported graduation rates and the center’s estimates. Such disparities are one reason that the U.S. Department of Education proposed new rules this spring that would require all states to calculate graduation rates based on a uniform method that tracks cohorts of students as they progress through high school.

Executive Summary,” Diplomas Count 2008, by Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center

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