Measuring Michigan’s Graduation & Dropout Rates The Impact of the Four-Year Cohort Margaret Merlyn Ropp Ph.D., Director Center for Educational Performance.
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Measuring Michigans Graduation & Dropout Rates The Impact of the Four-Year Cohort Margaret Merlyn Ropp Ph.D., Director Center for Educational Performance & Information Slide 2 Impetus for Change The No Child Left Behind Act requires states to use a graduation rate that tracks students from the beginning of high school to completion of a regular diploma in four years. The National Governors Association convened a task force to help states develop a standard methodology to measure high school graduation rates. All 50 governors committed to adopting the four-year cohort methodology to track state graduation rates. Michigan will be the 17 th state to implement the NGA Graduation Rate Compact. Slide 3 What is a Cohort Rate ? Slide 4 The Four-Year Cohort Rate tracks students starting in the 9 th grade Students are assigned to a cohort when they first start 9 th grade. The cohort is a group of students expected to graduate in the same year. First-time 9 th graders during the 2003-04 school year were assigned to the 2007 cohort. Slide 5 All students are tracked throughout high school: Students who transfer from one public school to another are considered transfers out of their old districts and transfers in to their new districts Students who transfer in to a Michigan public school from a private school or out of state after their 9 th grade year are added to the cohort. Students who transfer out of Michigans public schools for a private or parochial school, home school or another state are considered exempt and removed from the cohort. Slide 6 At the end of four years, all students are separated into four categories 1. On-Track Graduate - completed high school with a regular diploma in four years or less. 2. Other Completer - earned a GED or other certificate, or reached special education maximum age. 3. Dropout - left high school permanently during the four year cohort period or whose whereabouts are unknown 4. Off-Track Graduated & Continuing = completed high school with a regular diploma in more than four years or did not complete high school, but continues in school. Slide 7 The cohort total for a school or district is the total number of students in these four categories. Slide 8 Calculating a Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate Slide 9 A cohort graduation rate is determined by the formula On-Track Graduates Cohort Total Slide 10 Example #1 Happy Valley Public School District Slide 11 To calculate Happy Valleys graduation rate, divide the total number of On-Track Graduates 1,254 Slide 12 by the Cohort Total 1,254 1,443 = 86.90% Slide 13 Example #2 Sunnydale Community Schools Slide 14 Calculating a Four-Year Cohort Dropout Rate Slide 15 Drop out rates are calculated the same way as graduation rates, substituting the number of dropouts in the numerator: Dropped Out Cohort Total Slide 16 Example #1 Happy Valley Public School District Slide 17 Rates for Subgroups Four-year cohort graduation rates will also be calculated for subgroups in districts and the state, including: race/ethnicity gender race/ethnicity by gender economically disadvantaged students with disabilities migrant limited English proficiency Slide 18 Michigans Graduation and Dropout Rates August 20, 2008