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High School Dropout, Graduation, and Completion Rates: Better Data, Better Measures, Better Decision

Abstract

"High school graduation and dropout rates have long been used as indicators of educational system productivity and effectiveness and of social and economic well being. While determining these rates may seem like a straightforward task, their calculation is in fact quite complicated. How does one count a student who leaves a regular high school but later completes a GED? How does one count a student who spends most of his/her high school years at one school and then transfers to another? If the student graduates, which school should receive credit? If the student drops out, which school should take responsibility?

High School Dropout, Graduation, and Completion Rates addresses these issues and to examine (1) the strengths, limitations, accuracy, and utility of the available dropout and completion measures; (2) the state of the art with respect to longitudinal data systems; and (3) ways that dropout and completion rates can be used to improve policy and practice."

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