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Document Number: 6260

Graduation Counts: A Report of the National Governors Association Task Force on State High School Graduation Data - This report justifies the need for more accurate state dropout and graduation data, and identifies the principles that should guide the development of a better data collection/reporting system. The paper reports the task force’s recommendations and indicates the key factors – policy, leadership and political will and data system capacity – that may impact a state’s capacity to implement the suggested changes. Among the five recommendations for state policymakers: Immediately adopt, and begin taking steps to implement, the following formula for computing a four-year, adjusted cohort graduation rate: Graduation rate = [on-time graduates in year x] ¸ [(first-time entering 9th graders in year x – 4) + (transfers in) – transfers out)]. In addition, 47 governors and 12 national organizations signed onto a compact on state high school graduation data, committing to four specific areas of action. (National Governors Association, July 2005)...

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