Implementing Graduation Counts: State Progress to Date, 2008

Dwan Robinson

The National Governors Association
September 2008

In 2005, each of the nation's 50 governors agreed to implement a formula for calculating a common high-school graduation rate known as "The Compact Formula" to provide consistent and reliable high-school graduation information. States agreed to implement the formula, which uses a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, improved data collection, and expanded outcome measures to gauge student performance.

Since the governors signed the compact, a number of states have begun making progress toward integrating the formula into their data-collection systems. Other states are moving toward augmenting their student tracking systems to gather data on student performance as an interim measure prior to implementing the formula.

Ohio is one of six states trying to implement the formula by 2011. Ohio already has a mechanism in place with four years of student-performance data as well as systems measuring college readiness, graduation rates, and dropout rates and that assess data quality, validity, and reliability.

Recognizing that it takes time for all states to reach full implementation of the formula, the task force provided short-term recommendations that would help states progress toward the formula goal. These recommendations include suggesting how states can extract student performance data from existing data systems and identify short-term ways to measure graduation rates using existing data. Read the report here.

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