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Education Working Paper
No. 8  February 2005


Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates: 1991–2002

Endnotes

  1. The graduation rate used by the Education Trust was calculated with an earlier version of the Greene method used in this study.
  2. For example, students for whom districts fail to supply information are considered “underreported students” and are counted separately from dropouts even though it is quite likely that many of these students did in fact drop out (see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/research/pdfs/dropcomp_2002-03.pdf).
  3. See http://www.nces.ed.gov/ccd.
  4. Calculations do not always sum because of rounding.
  5. See http://eire.census.gov/popest/estimates.php.
  6. Data from states whose cohorts were too small or population changes too large to be separately reported were still used when calculating the national graduation rates by race.
  7. The 2000 HSTS did not contain information on the number of social studies courses that a student passed, so we omitted the social studies requirement in that year.
  8. The HSTS in 1990 and 2000 did not contain information on reading NAEP reading scores because students were not administered that subject in those years. In 1990, we used NAEP calculations from the 1994 HSTS, and in 2000, we used NAEP calculations from the 1998 HSTS.
  9. Overall graduation rates could not be calculated for Arizona before 2001 because enrollment data necessary to calculate those rates are faulty. Also, we were unable to calculate graduation rates by race and ethnic group in Alaska and Hawaii because Census information on those groups is incorrect.
  10. Our calculation of the college-readiness rate is for public schools only, and the number of seventeen-year-olds in the population includes students in both public and private schools. Our calculation of the number of seventeen-year-olds in the population who are college-ready, therefore, assumes that private schools prepare the same percentage of their students for college as do public schools. Thus, our calculation is likely an underestimate of the number of seventeen-year-olds who are college-ready because we might expect private schools to prepare a higher percentage of their students for college. However, according to the National Center for Education Statistics there were only about 301,000 students who graduated from private school, compared with 2,632,182 public school graduates, so this bias is likely quite small.
  11. See http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2004/2004155.pdf.
  12. See http://ferret.bls.census.gov/macro/032000/perinc/new03_001.htm.

 


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WHAT THE PRESS SAID

SUMMARY:
This study calculates high school graduation rates and the percentage of all students who left high school eligible to apply for college from 1991 to 2002. The study finds that during this period the graduation rate went from 72% to 71%, while the college readiness rate increased from 25% to 34%. The authors argue that the finding of flat high school graduation rates and increasing college readiness rates is likely the result of the increased standards and accountability programs over the last decade, which have required students to take more challenging courses required for admission to college without pushing those students to drop out of high school.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

ABOUT EDUCATION WORKING PAPERS

INTRODUCTION

PREVIOUS RESEARCH

METHOD

Calculating Public High School Graduation Rates

Calculating Public High School College-Readiness Rates

RESULTS

High School Graduation Rates for the Class of 2002

College-Readiness Rates for the Class of 2002

Comparing College-Ready Graduates with Students Actually Entering College

High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates over Time

CONCLUSION

ENDNOTES

REFERENCES

Table 1: High School Graduation Rates for the Class of 2002

Table 2: Ranking the States by High School Graduation Rate

Table 3: Ranking States by White High School Graduation Rate

Table 4: Ranking States by African-American High School Graduation Rates

Table 5: Ranking States by Hispanic High School Graduation Rates

Table 6: College Readiness Rates by Region and State

Table 7: College Readiness Population Compared to Number of Students Who Entered College For First Time

Table 8: Total High School Graduation Rates by State, 1991–2002

Table 9: White High School Graduation Rates by State, 1997–2002

Table 10: African-American High School Graduation Rates by State, 1997–2002

Table 11: Hispanic High School Graduation Rates by State, 1997–2002

Table 12: Total College Readiness Rates by Region and State, 1991–2002

Table 13: White College Readiness Rates by Region and State, 1997–2002

Table 14: African-American College Readiness Rates by Region and State, 1997–2002

Table 15: Hispanic College Readiness Rates by Region and State, 1997–2002

 


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