Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center has released its 2012 graduate rate calculation and analysis. The researchers find three out of four (73.5 percent) of the national 2009 graduating class successfully graduated high school in four years. This is a 1.7 percentage point increase from 2008. The 2009 graduation rate represents the highest graduation rate since the late 1970s. When the author’s partition the data by race, they find that increasing Latino graduation rates, in particular, have contributed the most to the national improvement in the graduation rate. 

How did the Buckeye State do? Education Week and EPE report that in Ohio 76 percent of its 2009 class graduated high school on-time. This rate places Ohio three percentage points above the national average and toward the middle of the pack—17th out of 51 states, including Washington D.C. The researchers also compare Ohio’s 1999 graduation rate with its 2009 graduation rate and they report that the rate has increased by seven percentage points, which again tracks closely with the national ten-year graduation rate increase of seven percentage points.

The report here adds to the conversation about how well the U.S. and each state are doing in graduating students. However, any calculation of the graduation rate should be taken with a grain of salt, for considerable debate and ambiguity still exists about how to calculate the graduate rate accurately. (See Fordham’s “The Great Graduation-Rate Debate” for an excellent analysis.) For example, the method used by the researchers here, called the Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI), finds—as already mentioned—that Ohio’s 2009 graduation rate stands at 76 percent. Meanwhile the Ohio Department of Education, using a different method, reports a 2009 statewide graduation rate of 83 percent. And starting this school year, the Ohio Department of Education will report and utilize for accountability yet another method of calculating the graduation rate.

Diplomas Count 2012
Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center
May 2012

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