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Document Number: 4903

Counting High School Graduates when Graduates Count: Measuring Graduation Rates under the High Stakes of NCLB - Schools are required to report high school graduation rates under the accountability provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). This report lays forth the underlying complexities of determining these rates, and weighs the advantages and limitations of four models for calculating graduation rates: the longitudinal graduation rate, the NCES high school completion rate, the Greene Method (Cohort Graduation Rates) and the cumulative promotion index (CPI). The authors do not "endorse or advise against using particular high school completion indicators." However, by using three of the different models to calculate estimated 1999-2000 graduation rates for states and the 100 largest school districts in America, they clearly show that the Greene and CPI methods yield varying graduation rates, while the researchers could not apply the NCES indicator in many states and districts due to a lack of calculable data. See this summary of the researchers' findings. (Christopher B. Swanson and Duncan Chaplin, The Urban Institute, February 2003)...

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