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Dropout and Graduation Studies

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Released in 2013

Overall Texas High School Attrition Rates Take Another Step Forward
Released by Intercultural Development Research Association, October 2013
The Texas high school attrition rate has continued its downward trend. IDRA’s latest annual attrition study released today shows that the overall attrition rate declined from 26 percent last year to 25 percent in 2012-13. Schools in 102 counties saw improvement, attrition rates in 105 counties students have worsened since last year. Still, Texas schools are losing one out of every four students.

New Economic Analysis Links Increased Educational Attainment to Economic Growth in 200+ Metro Areas
Released by the Alliance for Excellent Education, October 15, 2013
Nationally, Increasing High School Graduation Rate for One Class to 90 Percent Would Create 65,700 Jobs, Boost National Economy by $10.9 Billion. With all eyes on the economy this month, new findings from the Alliance for Excellent Education further cement the connection between improved education outcomes and economic gains at the national, state, and local levels. According to the detailed analysis, increasing the national high school graduation rate to 90 percent for just one high school class would create as many as 65,700 new jobs and boost the national economy by as much as $10.9 billion. The nation would also see increases in home and automobile sales of as much as $16.8 billion and $877 million, respectively, and an annual increase in federal and state tax revenues of as much as $1.3 billion and $661 million, respectively.
http://all4ed.org/press/new-economic-analysis-links-increased-educational-attainment-to-economic-growth-in-200-metro-areas/

High School State Cards: Texas
Released by the Alliance for Excellent Education, September 23, 2013
State cards provide a statistical snapshot of high schools for each state in the nation and the District of Columbia. The cards include economic information, data on high school graduation and college completion rates, academic achievement, and states’ progress in building a longitudinal data system. Where applicable, statewide numbers are compared to the national average and include national rankings.
http://all4ed.org/reports-factsheets/high-school-state-cards-texas/

Saving Futures, Saving Dollars: The Impact of Education on Crime Reduction and Earnings
Released by the Alliance for Excellent Education, September 12, 2013
The nation could save as much as $18.5 billion in annual crime costs if the high school male graduation rate increased by only 5 percentage points, a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education finds. This report examines and builds upon research that links lower levels of educational attainment with higher rates of arrests and incarceration.
http://all4ed.org/reports-factsheets/saving-futures-saving-dollars-the-impact-of-education-on-crime-reduction-and-earnings-2/

Climate Change: Creating an Integrated Framework for Improving School Climate
Released by the Alliance for Excellent Education, August 15, 2013
Schools that struggle most with providing a positive school climate more often disproportionately serve students of color and low-income students, a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education finds. The report, Climate Change: Creating an Integrated Framework for Improving School Climate, also confirms that students of color and students from low-income families are less likely to have access to rigorous course work and experienced teachers, and are more likely to be suspended than their white and wealthier peers.
http://all4ed.org/press/school-climate-indicative-of-student-engagement-and-success-new-alliance-report-finds/

Secondary School Completion and Dropouts in Texas Public Schools 2011-12
Released by the Texas Education Agency, August 2013
Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced today that the Texas high school on-time graduation rate has set an all-time high, reaching 87.7 percent for the Class of 2012. The graduation rate for the Class of 2012 is 1.8 percentage points higher than the previous record set by the Class of 2011 and marks the fifth consecutive year the rate has increased.
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/acctres/dropcomp_index.html

Solving the High School Graduation Crisis: Identifying and Using School Feeder Patterns In Your Community
Released by United Way Worldwide, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, and Civic Enterprises, August 2013
The path to dropout starts early. So the earlier a struggling student is identified, ideally before they enter high school, the better the chances in shifting the odds for success in school, work and life. But that identification must be based on the right data. One effective starting point is identifying the middle and elementary schools that “feed” into the lowest-performing high schools. United Way Worldwide, Civic Enterprises, and Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University have developed a guide to help you and your community partners identify school feeder patterns – and help your community begin the critical discussion on using that data to boost graduation rates.
http://new.every1graduates.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Solving-High-School-Grad-Crisis-Report-Identifying-Feeder-Patterns.pdf

Effective Practice at West Brooklyn Community High School
by Michael Rothman, Eskolta School Research and Design, Inc., August 2013
West Brooklyn Community High School has achieved a dramatic level of success in supporting a diverse population of 16-21 year old over-aged, and undercredited students who have struggled at or dropped out of their previous high schools. The school boasts among the highest course-passing rates, state exam scores, and graduation rates of any school serving this population in New York City. This eleven part publication examines the core systems, structures, and practices that underpin West Brooklyn Community High School’s success.
http://www.jff.org/publications/education/effective-practice-west-brooklyn-communi/1551

Just the Right Mix: Using an Early Warning Indicators Approach to Identify Potential Dropouts Across All Grades
Released by School of Education at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organization of Schools, July 2013
Each school year, roughly a thousand students drop out of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). However, unlike other large, urban school districts where students who drop out skip school and are suspended often (Balfanz & Byrnes, 2010), students who drop out of MCPS are present in school; they just are not doing well academically. According to the end-of-year MCPS attendance files provided to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) each year, students who drop out of MCPS are generally coded as dropping out of school due to: 1) a lack of personal motivation or interest to continue their education, or 2) a lack of academic success, including low grades and/or retention. These are both signs of a lack of student engagement (i.e., investment and motivation towards school). Fortunately, students who drop out of school exhibit a pattern of behaviors that are generally identifiable in advance. These behaviors are referred to as Early Warning Indicators (EWIs).
http://new.every1graduates.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/JusttheRightMixWest20131.pdf

What It Takes to Complete High School: The Shifting Terrain of Course and Diploma Requirements
Nancy Hoffman, Jobs for the Future, July 2013
In recent months, several states have altered their high school course requirements in various ways, from creating endorsements within a single diploma to creating new diplomas. These states appear to be making changes for a variety of reasons: to elevate career and technical education; to emphasize STEM fields; to improve the alignment with nonremedial college entrance requirements; to provide options for students who are not heading to college right after high school. Whatever the reasons, and they do not seem to be in anticipation of Common Core State Standards, the new legislation and accompanying rules and regulations require scrutiny and a careful consideration of implications, both for themselves and for their relation to other categories of graduation requirements such as test scores, Carnegie Units, and new interest in competency- or proficiency-based assessments. Of particular interest is whether changes augment or undercut the ongoing effort to ensure that all students graduate from high school ready to succeed in postsecondary education—whether headed toward a certificate, an Associate’s degree, or a four-year degree. Right now, with systems in flux across the nation, it is critical to track and pay attention to the trends. In that spirit, What It Takes to Complete High School focuses on one category of graduation requirement: courses required by states for students to attain a high school diploma.
http://www.jff.org/publications/education/what-it-takes-complete-high-school-shift/1543

Well and Well-Off: Decreasing Medicaid and Health-Care Costs by Increasing Educational Attainment
By Jason Amos, Released by the Alliance for Excellent Education, July 15, 2013
Cutting the number of high school dropouts in half nationally would save $7.3 billion in annual Medicaid spending, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education. The report, Well and Well-Off: Decreasing Medicaid and Health-Care Costs by Increasing Educational Attainment, examines Medicaid spending for all fifty states and the District of Columbia on four key afflictions—alcoholism, heart disease, obesity, and smoking—as well as determines overall Medicaid savings. Support for the report was provided in part by State Farm® as part of a series of documents that demonstrates the economic benefits from improving high school graduation rates. According to the report, the $7.3 billion in annual Medicaid savings breaks out to $900 million in preventative costs related to heart disease, $1.9 billion linked to obesity, $1.4 billion related to alcoholism, and nearly $2 billion associated with reduced smoking and tobacco use.
http://www.all4ed.org/press_room/press_releases/07102013

Education at a Glance 2013
Released by OECD, June 25, 2013
The jobs gap between well-educated young people and those who left school early has continued to widen during the crisis. A good education is the best insurance against a lack of work experience, according to the latest edition of the OECD’s annual Education at a Glance. Unemployment rates are nearly three times higher among people without an upper secondary education (13% on average across OECD countries) than among those who have a tertiary education (5%). Between 2008 and 2011, the unemployment rate for the poorly-educated rose by around 4 percentage points, while it increased by only 1.5 percentage points for the highly educated.

http://www.oecd.org/newsroom/value-of-education-rises-in-crisis-says-oecd.htm

2013 Kids Count Data Book
Released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, June 24, 2013
National and state-by-state data on key indicators of child well-being. The Kids Count Data Book features the latest data on child well-being for every state, the District of Columbia and the nation. This information is available in the newly redesigned Kids Count Data Center, which also contains the most recent national, state and local data on hundreds of measures of child well-being. Data Center users can create rankings, maps and graphs for use in publications and on websites, and view real-time information on mobile devices.
http://datacenter.kidscount.org/~/media/159/USA2013DataBookNewsRelease.pdf

2013 Kids Count – Texas
Released by the Center for Public Policy Priorities, June 24, 2013
New data released in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2013 National KIDS COUNT data book show that Texas kids were moving in the right direction in child well-being. Although Texas’ overall child well-being ranking relative to other states improved slightly—from 44th in 2012 to 42nd in 2013—Texas still ranks among the 10 worst states to be a kid. The 2013 National Kids Count report also shows how Texas ranks in four broad well-being categories: For economic well-being, our smallest Texans ranked 30th; Texas’ overall education ranking is 31st; When it comes to Texas’ child health care, we ranked 36th; and But within family and community, Texas’ ranking was 48th.
http://datacenter.kidscount.org/~/media/150/TX2013DataBookNewsRelease.pdf

Diplomas Count – Second Chances: Turning Dropouts into Graduates
Released by Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center, June 6, 2013
A new national report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center finds that the nation’s graduation rate has posted a solid gain for the third straight year, following a period of declines and stagnation. Amid this continuing turnaround, the nation’s graduation rate has risen to almost 75 percent, the highest level of high school completion since 1973. Although 1 million students will fail to graduate with the class of 2013, the report shows that the nation’s public schools will generate 96,000 fewer dropouts than the previous year. Nationwide improvements were driven, in large part, by strong gains among Latino and black students.
http://www.edweek.org/ew/toc/2013/06/06/index.html

High School Drop-out Rate at Record Low – Hispanic High School Graduates Pass Whites in Rate of College Enrollment
Released by Richard Fry and Paul Taylor, Pew Hispanic Center, May 9, 2013
A record seven-in-ten (69%) Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall, two percentage points higher than the rate (67%) among their white counterparts, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This milestone is the result of a long-term increase in Hispanic college-going that accelerated with the onset of the recession in 2008 (Fry and Lopez, 2012). The rate among white high school graduates, by contrast, has declined slightly since 2008.
http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/2013/05/PHC_college_enrollment_2013-05.pdf

Addressing the Out-of-School Suspension Crisis: A Policy Guide for School Board Members
Released by Opportunity to Learn Campaign, April 2013
A new guide from the Opportunity to Learn Campaign, Opportunity Action, and national partners including the National School Board Association (NSBA) highlights school districts across the country for their efforts to create discipline policies aimed at ending excessive and discriminatory out-of-school suspensions. "Addressing the Out-of-School Suspension Crisis: A Policy Guide for School Board Members" urges local officials to implement positive discipline policies that keep students in the classroom and learning.
http://www.nsba.org/Board-Leadership/Surveys/Out-of-School-Suspension-Policy-Guide/Out-of-School-Suspension-Report.pdf

Out of School and Off Track – The Overuse of Suspensions in Schools
Released by The Center for Civil Rights Remedies – The Civil Rights Project, April 11, 2013
A new report from UCLA’s Civil Right Project is a one stop shop for all the school discipline data advocates or organizers need to fight the overuse of out-of-school suspensions. Out of School & Off Track uses data from over 26,000 U.S. middle and high schools for the 2009-2010 academic year and breaks it down by district, race, gender, elementary/secondary school level, English language learners, and disability status.
http://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/resources/projects/center-for-civil-rights-remedies/school-to-prison-folder/federal-reports/out-of-school-and-off-track-the-overuse-of-suspensions-in-american-middle-and-high-schools

The Economic Payoff for Closing College-readiness and Completion Gaps
Joel Vargas, Jobs for the Future, March 2013
The low rates at which U.S. college students complete a degree and the amount time they spend in remedial coursework are national problems. The situation is particularly acute for low-income and other underserved youth, including populations such as Hispanic students that are growing the fastest in the country and that have some of the lowest success rates in our K-12 and postsecondary education systems. It is a problem not only for the students, and not only because our economy and democracy depend on well-educated citizens, but also because it represents an inefficient use of personal and public investments in education. Every student who falls short of the goal of earning a high school diploma and a college degree represents a financial investment that did not pay off in a credential of value in the labor market. In response, state policymakers and major foundations have invested in a variety of strategies to improve the college readiness of high school graduates, reduce the need for remedial courses in college, improve college completion rates, and reduce the “time to completion” of a degree. This brief supports the economic logic of such investments, in particular those that result in more low-income youth attaining the postsecondary credentials that can yield enormous benefits to students, families, and taxpayers.
http://www.jff.org/publications/education/economic-payoff-closing-college-readines/1511

Confronting the Opportunity Gap
Released by the Alliance for Quality Education and the Public Policy and Education Fund, February 28, 2013
The achievement gap is better understood as an opportunity gap. So rather than focusing on achievement standards, education reform efforts should focus on remedying the systemic inequities in access to resources and opportunities that cause those achievement gaps and prevent students from achieving at their full potential. This report from the Alliance for Quality Education and the Public Policy and Education Fund lays out how New York State is a leader in educational inequity, and how the state could go about reforming its system to ensure access and opportunity.
http://www.otlcampaign.org/sites/default/files/resources/Confronting-the-Opportunity-Gap-AQE.pdf

Building a Grad Nation Report – Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic
Released by Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University February 25, 2013
The most comprehensive graduation research report of late found that for the first time the U.S. is on track to meet the national Grad Nation goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by the class of 2020. The national high school graduation rate increased 6.5 percentage points since 2001 with an average growth of 1.25 percentage points each year from 2006-2010 to 78.2. As a result of this acceleration more than 200,000 additional students received diplomas in 2010 than in 2006. The 2013 report update of Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, released February 25 by the Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, shows that the nation continues to make progress.
http://www.americaspromise.org/Our-Work/Grad-Nation/Building-a-Grad-Nation.aspx

The Effect of ESEA Waiver Plans on High School Graduation Rate Accountability
Released by the Alliance for Excellent Education, February 12, 2013
Based on an extensive analysis of state waiver plans, this report shows that recent progress in holding schools accountable for how many students they graduate from high school—the ultimate goal of K–12 education—may be slowed in some states based on waivers recently granted under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The report includes a review of approved waiver plans submitted by thirty-four states and the District of Columbia.
http://all4ed.org/reports-factsheets/the-effect-of-esea-waiver-plans-on-high-school-graduation-rate-accountability/

From High School to the Future: The Challenge of Senior Year in Chicago Public Schools
Released by the University of Chicago – Consortium on Chicago School Research, February 2013
This report finds there is much work to do to shift the focus of senior year in Chicago from finishing graduation requirements to preparing for college or employment. This report shows that the majority of CPS seniors have schedules dominated by makeup courses and electives and other non-core subject areas, and students themselves describe senior year as unchallenging and easier than previous years.
http://ccsr.uchicago.edu/publications/high-school-future-challenge-senior-year-chicago-public-schools

NCLB Waivers and Accountability: The Graduation Rate Balancing Act
Kathryn Young, Jobs for the Future, February 2013
States with NCLB waivers are developing new K-12 accountability systems that have the potential to encourage college and career readiness. However, states must not reduce the importance of graduation rates within these systems. JFF Education Policy Director Kathryn Young offers five questions that each state should ask to ensure that grad rates remain a central indicator of school success. The good news is that states already have the data they need for strengthening their accountability and school improvement systems.
http://www.jff.org/publications/education/nclb-waivers-and-accountability-graduati/1507

Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2009–10
Released by the National Center for Education Statistics, January 22, 2013
This report presents the number of high school graduates, the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR), and the dropout data for grades 9–12 for public schools in school year 2009–10 as reported by State Education Agencies to the NCES Common Core of Data Universe Survey of public elementary and secondary institutions.
http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2013309rev

Projections of Education Statistics to 2021
Released by the National Center for Education Statistics, January 9, 2013
This publication provides projections for key education statistics. It includes statistics on enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures in elementary and secondary schools, and enrollment and earned degrees conferred expenditures of degree-granting institutions. For the Nation, the tables, figures, and text contain data on enrollment, teachers, graduates, and expenditures for the past 14 years and projections to the year 2021. For the 50 States and the District of Columbia, the tables, figures, and text contain data on projections of public elementary and secondary enrollment and public high school graduates to the year 2021. In addition, the report includes a methodology section describing models and assumptions used to develop national and state-level projections.
http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2013008

Released in 2012

Texas Public School Attrition Study, 2011-12: Attrition Rate Decline Appears Promising – Though High Schools are Still Losing One in Four Students
by Roy L. Johnson, M.S.
The Texas high school attrition rate is below 30 percent for the third year in a row, with 26 percent of the freshman class of 2008-09 having left school prior to graduating in the 2011-12 school year. Twelve students per hour leave before graduating high school. At this rate, Texas will not reach universal high school education for another quarter of a century in 2037. The racial-ethnic gaps are dramatically higher than 27 years ago. Students from ethnic minority groups account for nearly three-fourths (72.2 percent) of the estimated 3.2 million students lost from public high school enrollment. The study includes detailed findings, a supplemental analysis for reaching a rate of zero and graphics showing different types of dropout data. IDRA’s study also looks at the latest dropout study released by the Texas Education Agency.

The Urgency of Now: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males 2012
The Schott Foundation, September 19, 2012
Since 2004, the Schott Foundation for Public Education’s biennial reports on Black males in public education have documented that of all racial/ethnic and gender groups, Black males have been the least likely to secure a regular diploma four years after beginning high school.

Back on Track Through College in the Rio Grande Valley: From Dropout Recovery to Postsecondary Success
Released by First Focus, August 29, 2012
Texas’s Rio Grande Valley is home to a groundbreaking model for dropout recovery that helps youth transition into college. The College, Career, and Technology Academy has graduated almost 1,000 former dropouts and off-track youth in five years — a significant percentage of whom attained postsecondary credits before graduating — putting college success within reach for students who once left school without a diploma or were at high risk of not graduating. This approach is being replicated across the Southwest, as other school districts recognize the promise and potential of recovering this population and helping them achieve their postsecondary and career goals.

Skipping to Nowhere: Students share their views about missing school
Released by Get Schooled, August 2012
Absenteeism issues plague almost every community in America.  It is not a problem facing only urban low income students; it is a problem facing middle class America as well. Get the facts.

Diplomas Count—Trailing Behind, Moving Forward: Latino Students in U.S. Schools
Released by Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center, June 2012
A new national report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center finds that the nation’s graduation rate has posted a solid gain for the second straight year, following a period of declines and stagnation. Amid this continuing turnaround, the nation’s graduation rate has risen to 73 percent, the highest level of high school completion since the late 1970s. The report shows that the nation’s public schools will generate about 90,000 fewer dropouts than the previous year. Nationwide improvements were driven, in large part, by impressive gains among Latino students. The 2012 edition of Diplomas Count—Trailing Behind, Moving Forward: Latino Students in U.S. Schools—takes a closer look at the state of schooling for this population of students, the challenges they face, and the lessons learned from some of the schools, districts, organizations, and communities that work closely with Latino students.

Condition of Education 2012
By the National Center for Education Statistics, 2012
The Condition of Education (COE) is a congressionally mandated annual report that summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available statistics. The Condition of Education 2012 contains 49 indicators, plus a Closer Look.

The Importance of Being in School: A Report on Absenteeism in the Nation’s Public Schools
Released by Every1Graduates.org at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education
America’s education system is based on the assumption that barring illness or an extraordinary event, students are in class every weekday. So strong is this assumption that it is not even measured. Indeed, it is the rare state education department, school district or principal that can tell you how many students have missed 10 percent or more of the school year or in the previous year missed a month or more school − two common definitions of chronic absence. Students need to attend school daily to succeed. The good news of this report is that being in school leads to succeeding in school. Achievement, especially in math, is very sensitive to attendance, and absence of even two weeks during one school year matters. Attendance also strongly affects standardized test scores and graduation and dropout rates. Educators and policymakers cannot truly understand achievement gaps or efforts to close them without considering chronic absenteeism.

What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools: A Focus on English Language Learners
Released by the University of Chicago – Consortium on Chicago School Research, May 2012
This report builds on findings from earlier CCSR reports to examine whether ninth-grade early warning indicators that are used to determine if students are on-track to graduate high school – such as absences, grade point average (GPA), and course failures – are as predictive of graduation for high school ELLs as they are for the general student population. It finds that course performance indicators are highly predictive of graduation for ELL students, and are actually more predictive than other ELL-specific indicators, including English language proficiency level and whether students experienced interruptions in their education.

2020 Vision Roadmap: A Pre-K Through Postsecondary Roadmap for Educational Success
By National Opportunity to Learn Campaign, April 11, 2012
In 2010, the President set a goal for the U.S. to become the global leader in postsecondary degree attainment by the year 2020. Yet, more than 7,000 students, many of whom are not proficient in reading and math, are leaving or being pushed out of U.S. schools each day. This study shows that the U.S. cannot achieve the President’s 2020 goal if our schools continue to hemorrhage large segments of our nation’s youth. Accordingly, this document is designed to serve as a blueprint for implementing a comprehensive package of policy reforms that seek to increase the quantity of students who succeed at every stage of the educational pipeline and the quality of the education they receive. Different from most calls for reform, it considers the educational pipeline in its entirety—from early childhood through postsecondary attainment—and offers evidence‐informed strategies to boost access, quantity and quality at every stage.

Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic
Released by the Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, March 19, 2012
With one in four U.S. public school students dropping out of high school before graduation, America continues to face a dropout epidemic. Dropping out makes it harder for these young people to succeed in life, our economy loses hundreds of billions of dollars in productivity and our communities suffer enormous social costs. The 2012 report update of Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, released March 19 by the Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, shows that the nation continues to make progress, with more than half of states increasing graduation rates. The report also reveals that the number of "dropout factory" high schools—those graduating 60 percent or fewer students on time—decreased by 457 between 2002 and 2010, with the rate of decline accelerating since 2008. The number of “dropout factories” totaled 1,550 in 2010, down from 1,634 in 2009 and a high of 2,007 in 2002. The number declined by 84 between 2009 and 2010. As a result, 790,000 fewer students attended dropout factories in 2010 than 2002.

U.S. Education Reform and National Security
Council on Foreign Relations, March 2012
The failure of the United States to educate its children adequately leaves the nation’s economy and national security at risk, according to a new report from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The report pinpoints a mediocre high school graduation rate, a persistent racial and economic achievement gap, and civic apathy as critical components that result in students who are unprepared to compete globally. This shortfall, the report argues, threatens the country’s competiveness and standing as a leader in the global economy.

High School State Cards (updated March 2012)
By the Alliance for Excellent Education
State cards provide a statistical snapshot of high schools for each state in the nation and the District of Columbia. The cards include economic information, data on high school graduation and college completion rates, academic achievement, and states’ progress in building a longitudinal data system. Where applicable, statewide numbers are compared to the national average and include national rankings. To access the state card for your state or the District of Columbia, click on it in the list below. National data are also available.

Caught in the Crisis: Students of Color and Native Students in U.S. High Schools
By the Alliance for Excellent Education, January 2012
Nationally, millions of students in grades 7–12 are at risk of dropping out of high school because of low literacy skills, poor attendance, and class failure. The absence of a college- and career-ready education for these students is a civil rights and social justice issue that the federal government cannot ignore. This fact sheet provides information and policy issues for high school students of color and Native students in the United States, a group that makes up a significant portion of high school dropouts each year.

Released in 2011

Texas Public School Attrition Study, 2010-11 – High School Attrition Continues Downward Trend – Universal High School Graduation is Still a Quarter of a Century Away (2011)
The Texas high school attrition rate is below 30 percent for the second year in a row, with 27 percent of the freshman class of 2007-08 having left school prior to graduating in the 2010-11 school year. Yet, this means Texas public schools are failing to graduate one out of every four students. IDRA’s latest Texas high school attrition study found that Texas high schools have lost 3.1 million students in the last 26 years. At this pace, the state could lose as many as 2.8 million more students over the next 25 years. Thirteen students per hour leave before graduating high school. The racial-ethnic gaps are dramatically higher than 26 years ago. Black students and Hispanic students are about two times more likely to leave school without graduating with a diploma than White students.

Education at a Glance 2011: OECD Indicators (2011)
This report provides a broad array of comparable indicators on education systems and represents the consensus of professional thinking on how to measure the current state of education internationally. The indicators show who participates in education, how much is spent on it, and how education systems operate. They also illustrate a wide range of educational outcomes, comparing, for example, student performance in key subjects and the impact of education on earnings and on adults’ chances of employment.

2011 Kids Count Data Book (2011)
Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count Data Book profiles the status of children on a national and state-by-state basis and ranks states on 10 measures of well-being.

State of Texas Children Data Book (2011)
The Center for Public Policy Priorities is the Texas home to Kids Count, a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In addition to publishing annual reports, the center also offers access to an interactive, comprehensive database of county-by-county and state data on child well-being.

Secondary School Completion and Dropouts in Texas Public Schools, 2009-10 (2011)
Released by the Texas Education Agency, July 2011.

Diplomas Count 2011: Beyond High School, Before Baccalaureate (2011)
Released by Editorial Projects in Education. Includes reports for all 50 states and the District of Columbia featuring detailed, state-specific data on current graduation rates and trends over time, definitions of college readiness, high school exit exams, and state requirements for earning a high school diploma.

Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2008-09 (2011)
This NCES report presents findings associated with public high school graduation and event dropout counts for the 2008–09 school year. These data were collected as part of the Common Core of Data Survey Collection, a universe collection of public schools operating in the United States and associated other jurisdictions.

Education and the Economy: Boosting Texas’s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates (2011)
The Alliance for Excellent Education, with generous support from State Farm®, analyzed the economies of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine the economic benefits that states could see by improving high school graduation rates. Using a sophisticated economic model developed by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., an economics firm specializing in socioeconomic impact tools, the Alliance calculated economic projections for each state.

High School Attrition Rates Across Texas Education Service Center Regions: 2009-10
IDRA’s latest study of high school attrition across Texas regions found that three of 20 regions have higher attrition rates than they did 24 years ago. Five regions have persistently high rates, and racial-ethnic gaps have increased in all regions. Since 1984, when Texas began counting dropouts, the state has lost more than 3 million students at a cumulative cost is $927 billion.

America’s High School Graduates, Results of the 2009 NAEP High School Transcript Study (2011)
This NCES report presents information about the types of courses 2009 high school graduates took during high school, how many credits they earned, and the grades they received. Information on the relationships between high school records and performance in mathematics and science on the twelfth-grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is also included. 

Projections of Education Statistics to 2019 (2011)
This NCES publication provides projections for key education statistics. It includes statistics on enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures in elementary and secondary schools, and enrollment and earned degrees conferred expenditures of degree-granting institutions. For the Nation, the tables, figures, and text contain data on enrollment, teachers, graduates, and expenditures for the past 14 years and projections to the year 2019. For the 50 States and the District of Columbia, the tables, figures, and text contain data on projections of public elementary and secondary enrollment and public high school graduates to the year 2019. In addition, the report includes a methodology section describing models and assumptions used to develop national and state-level projections. 

Review of High School Completion Rates & Dropout Prevention for Students (2011)
This Texas Education Agency report provides a review of high school completion rates for limited English proficient (LEP) students in Texas, discusses evidence-based dropout prevention strategies for LEP students, and makes recommendations for expanding and enhancing Texas’ efforts to promote high school completion and success for LEP students. What follows are highlights from the report.

Closing the Expectations Gap 2011 (2011)
Each year, on the anniversary of the 2005 National Education Summit on High Schools, Achieve releases a 50-state progress report on the alignment of high school policies with the demands of college and careers. Closing the Expectations Gap, 2011 is the sixth annual report in this series. The report details state progress implementing the American Diploma Project policy agenda.

Released in 2010

Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the US: 1972–2008 (2010)
This report builds upon a series of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports on high school dropout, completion, and graduation rates that began in 1988. The report includes discussions of many rates used to study how students complete or fail to complete high school. It presents estimates of rates for 2008 and provides data about trends in dropout and completion rates over the last three and a half decades (1972-2008) along with more recent estimates of on-time graduation from public high schools. Among findings in the report was that in October 2008, approximately 3 million civilian noninstitutionalized 16- through 24-year-olds were not enrolled in high school and had not earned a high school diploma or alternative credential. These dropouts represented 8 percent of the 38 million non-institutionalized, civilian individuals in this age group living in the United States.

Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic (2010)
With one in four U.S. public school students dropping out of high school before graduation, America continues to face a dropout epidemic. Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, released November 30, by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, shows that we can end the dropout epidemic, even in schools from lower-income, urban and rural districts that many previously thought were hopeless. The report is supported by lead sponsor Target, and includes additional sponsorship from AT&T and Pearson Foundation.

Texas Public School Attrition Study, 2009-10 – More than 3 Million Students Have Been Lost from Texas High Schools Since 1986  (2010)
IDRA’s latest Texas high school attrition study found that more than 3 million students have been lost from Texas high schools since 1986. First time in 25 years, the Texas high school attrition rate is below 30 percent. Twenty-nine percent of the freshman class of 2006-07 left school prior to graduating in the 2009-10 school year. At this rate, 14 students per hour leave before graduating high school. A supplemental analysis indicates that, based on one statistical scenario of Texas attrition rate history, the state will not reach an attrition rate of zero until 2040. At this pace, the state will lose an additional 1.9 million to 3.5 million students.

The Condition of Education 2000-2010
Website by the National Center for Education Statistics
Reports that, in 2006-07, about three-quarters of the 2003-04 freshman class graduated from high school on time with a regular diploma. The averaged freshman graduation rate (2006-07) for public high school students in Texas was 71.9 percent.

Minorities in Higher Education 2010 – Twenty-Fourth Status Report (2010)
In this report, the American Council on Education summarizes trends in high school completion, college enrollment, college persistence, degrees conferred and higher education employment. Findings include: Among all racial/ethnic groups in the United States, Hispanics – the fastest growing population – continue to exhibit the lowest educational attainment levels. Young Hispanic men lag behind Hispanic women, and the gap is growing wider. Also, although Hispanics made the largest gains and narrowed gaps between themselves and both whites and African Americans from 1988-2008, they continue to have the lowest rate of completion at 70 percent.

Secondary School Completion and Dropouts in Texas Public Schools, 2008-09 (July 2010)
Annual report by the Texas Education Agency shows a 2.0 percent annual dropout rate for grades seven through 12 and a rate of 2.9 percent for grades nine through 12. The attrition rate fro the class of 2009 was 28.6 percent.

High School Dropouts in America, factsheet (September 15, 2010)
Three-page factsheet by the Alliance for Excellent Education.

The Economic Benefits of Reducing the Dropout Rate Among Students of Color in the Nation’s Largest Metropolitan Areas (2010)
Lowering the high school dropout rate among students of color will greatly increase the economic vitality for some of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. City-by-city findings include the growth in jobs, home ownership, levels of spending and investment, and car sales that will result from cutting the high school dropout rate among students of color in half.

Six Pillars of Effective Dropout Prevention and Recovery: An Assessment of Current State Policy and How to Improve It (September 2010)
Report by Jobs for the Future identifies six model policy elements that frame a sound legislative strategy for dropout prevention and recovery, and it assesses the extent to which recent state policy aligns with these model elements.

Hispanics, High School Dropouts and the GED (2010)
The Pew Hispanic Center found that one in 10 Hispanic high school dropouts has a General Educational Development (GED) credential. By contrast, two in 10 Black high school dropouts and three in 10 White high school dropouts has a GED. The report also analyzes labor market outcomes of Hispanic adults based on whether they dropped out of high school and lack a GED; have a GED; or obtained at least a regular high school diploma.

Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2007-08 (2010)
This NCES report presents findings associated with public high school graduation and event dropout counts for the 2007-08 school year. These data were collected as part of the Common Core of Data Survey Collection, a universe collection of public schools operating in the United States and associated other jurisdictions.

Final Report on Steps to Curb High School Drop-Out Rate (2010)
A Gonzaga University School of Education research team submitted this final report commissioned by Priority Spokane. The research focused on the experience of middle school students, inside and outside the classroom. The report provides recommendations on school/community strategies that could improve graduation rates in Spokane high schools. The research was funded with a grant from the Spokane-based Inland Northwest Community Foundation (INWCF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gradual Disengagement: A Portrait of the 2008-09 Dropouts in the Baltimore City Schools (2010)
The Baltimore Education Research Consortium examined eight years of student-level data to paint a collective portrait of the process of disengagement that leads to student dropout. The study found that the majority of students who eventually drop out of Baltimore high schools enter ninth grade with a pattern of chronic absenteeism that goes back at least several years. A large majority of eventual dropouts are overage for grade by the time they enter ninth grade for the first time, and have increasingly high levels of absenteeism and course failure over their years in high school. The study recommends that interventions be implemented during the early middle grades to prevent most dropout outcomes, and that non-traditional credit-earning options be offered to older enrolled students (17 and older) who already have patterns of chronic absenteeism and course failure.

2010 Kids Count Data Book
Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 21st annual Kids Count Data Book profiles the status of children on a national and state-by-state basis and ranks states on 10 measures of well-being.

2010 Kids Count Data Book – Texas
The Center for Public Policy Priorities is the Texas home to Kids Count, a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In addition to publishing annual reports, the center also offers access to an interactive, comprehensive database of county-by-county and state data on child well-being.

Released in 2009

The ABCD’s of Texas Education: Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Reducing the Dropout Rate (2009)
United Ways of Texas commissioned The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University to conduct this cost study, finding that students who drop out of high school will cost Texas up to $9.6 billion in lost revenue and outright expenses over their lifetimes, and that figure escalates as each new crop of dropouts is created.

“The Economic Payoff of Investing In Educational Justice,” Education Researcher (2009)
H.M. Levin’s latest report includes a lot of info on the costs of under-education and benefits of high school and college completion.

Lost Opportunity: A 50 State Report on the Opportunity to Learn in America (June 2, 2009)
The Schott Foundation for Public Education provides a state-by-state comparison of both academic proficiency (as illustrated by the percentage of students scoring at or above proficient on the eighth grade National Assessment of Educational Progress – NAEP reading exam) and access to high-performing  schools (as measured by the Schott Foundation’s Opportunity to Learn Index, or OTLI).  Realizing if the U.S. is to provide every student a true opportunity to learn, the country must first ensure that all students, even the most disadvantaged, have access to the high-quality resources necessary for success.

On the Front Lines of Schools: Perspectives of Teachers and Principals on the High School Dropout Problem (2009)
Report by Civic Enterprises finds that only finds that 58 percent of principals believe schools should hold all students to high academic standards.

The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School: Joblessness and Jailing for High School Dropouts and the High Cost for Taxpayers (October 2009)
Report by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University identifies a series of employment, earnings, income, and social difficulties faced by the nation’s young adults lacking regular high school diplomas or their equivalent. These social and incarceration problems of young dropouts are quite severe among all gender and race-ethnic groups but are frequently more severe among men and Blacks.

Late High School Dropouts: Characteristics, Experiences, and Changes Across Cohorts (2009)
This NCES report presents information about selected characteristics and experiences of high school sophomores in 2002 who subsequently dropped out of school. It also presents comparative data about late high school dropouts in the years 1982, 1992, and 2004.

Achieving Graduation for All: A Governor’s Guide to Dropout Prevention and Recovery (2009)
Report by National Governors Association Center for Best Practices that identifies the root causes of the high school dropout problem and offers a comprehensive action plan for states to curb dropouts, help youth succeed and strengthen state economies. The report states that one in five students drop out of high school, and dropouts cost the United States more than $300 billion each year in lost wages and increased public sector expenses.

High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2007 (2009)
This report builds upon a series of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports on high school dropout, completion, and graduation rates that began in 1988. The report includes discussions of many rates used to study how students complete or fail to complete high school. It presents estimates of rates for 2007 and provides data about trends in dropout and completion rates over the last three and a half decades (1972-2007) along with more recent estimates of on-time graduation. Among findings in the report was that among reporting states in 2006, the averaged freshman graduation rate (AFGR) was 73.2 percent. The report also shows that students living in low-income families were approximately 10 times more likely to drop out of high school between 2006 and 2007 than were students living in high-income families. 

Released in 2008

Diplomas Count 2008: School to College: Can State P-16 Councils Ease the Transition? (June 4, 2008)
The report by Editorial Projects in Education Research Center includes analysis of graduation rates nationwide, finding that an estimated 1.23 million students, or almost 30 percent of the class of 2008, will fail to graduate with their peers. Native American, Hispanic, and African-American students are among the groups with the lowest graduation rates.

Dropouts, Diplomas, and Dollars: U.S. High Schools and the Nation’s Economy (August 2008)
Report by the Alliance for Excellent Education states that the United States can no longer absorb the costs and losses associated with an education system that produces more than 1.2 million dropouts every year. This report examines the impact of this crisis on the dropouts themselves, as well as its effect on the economy, social fabric, and security of the nation, states, and local communities.

Released in 2004-2007

The Texas Dropout Crisis: Magnitude and Impact (2007)
The Center for Public Policy Priorities has a legislative briefing presentation online that goes through cost calculations for dropouts. That part of the analysis was conducted by IDRA’s Dr. Albert Cortez and CPPP’s Dr. Frances Deviney.

The Costs and Benefits of an Excellent Education for All of America’s Children (2007)
Researchers Henry Levin, Clive Belfield, Peter Muennig, and Cecilia Rouse reported that the net economic benefit to the public purse is $127,000 per high school graduate and the benefits are 2.5 times greater than the costs.

Promoting Power
Compares the number of seniors enrolled in a high school to the number of freshmen four years earlier (or three years earlier in a 10-12 high school). For Texas, findings indicate that only 85 high schools have a “promoting power” 90 percent or more, and 256 had a promoting power of 60 percent or less (based on three year average for the classes of 2000, 2001, and 2002).

Confronting the Graduation Rate Crisis in Texas (2006)
The Civil Rights Project states that the most accurate method for tracking high school graduation rates is to provide each student with a single lifetime school identification number that would follow him or her throughout his or her entire school career. Texas has this system in place, but this report demonstrates that the official rates Texas has historically reported dramatically inflated graduation rates and other extended year measures of high school completion as much or more than most states lacking this capacity.

Dropouts in America – Confronting the Graduation Rate Crisis (2004)
This report by Gary Orfield of the then Harvard Civil Rights Project found that only half of our nation’s minority students graduate from high school along with their peers. For many groups-Latino, black, or Native American males-graduation rates are even lower. The dropout problem is far worse than statistics indicate. Many states and districts simply do not count those students who fail to receive diplomas as dropouts. Even the hardest-hit urban districts report dropout rates of only 5-10 percent.

Losing Our Future: How Minority Youth are Being Left Behind by the Graduation Rate Crisis (2004)
This report by the Civil Rights Project combines findings of a comprehensive review of graduation rate accountability derived from each state’s website, along with interviews of state education officials. Finally, the report provides recommendations on how both the federal government and individual states can act to address this crisis.

Older, Landmark Studies

Texas School Dropout Survey Project: A Summary of Findings (1986)
IDRA’s original study found that 86,276 students had not graduated from Texas public high schools, costing the state $17 billion in forgone income, lost tax revenues, and increased job training, welfare, unemployment and criminal justice costs. (Not online. Available from IDRA by request.)

Missing: Texas Youth – Dropout and Attrition Rates in Texas Public High Schools (1999)
An updated policy brief estimated the total earnings and tax losses to the state due to school attrition for the past 12 years (1985-86 to 1997-98) were $319 billion. See page 19 for a table showing costs by year.

Dropping Out of Arizona’s Schools: The Scope, the Costs, and Successful Strategies to Address the Crisis (2002)
Using Arizona Department of Education enrollment figures, IDRA developed attrition estimates for the freshman classes of 1996, 1997, and 1998. In Arizona, the overall high school attrition rate was estimated at 21,233 pupils, or 32.8 percent, for the graduation class 1998; 21,422 pupils, or 32.8 percent, for the graduating class of 1999, and 21,472 pupils, or 31.8 percent, for the graduating class of 2000.

See article summarizing the study: http://www.idra.org/resource_center_categories/idra-newsletter-2002/

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