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Document Number: 7000

Estimating Graduation and Dropout Rates with Longitudinal Data: A Case Study in the Pittsburgh Public Schools - This report describes a method of calculating graduation and dropout rates that analyzes longitudinal, student-level data to provide improved estimates, and applies the method to estimate graduation and dropout rates for the Pittsburgh Public Schools districtwide and for each high school in the district. The estimates are based on a statistical model that estimates the relationship between the observed outcome for students who do not leave the district and their sex, race, age upon entry to 9th grade, and whether or not they changed schools within the district. The authors discuss the implications of changing various aspects of their methodology and provide recommendations for longitudinal data systems. (John Engberg and Brian Gill, RAND, July 2006)...

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