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Calculating Graduation Rates

The founding fathers left education in the hands of the states and because states use various ways of calculating graduation rates, it’s been difficult to know exactly how accurate is the national high school completion rate. But new federal rules and a governors’ agreement are working to push states into using a common method of calculating graduation rates.

Forty eight states plan to use something called the “four-year adjusted cohort rate,” which essentially tells us the percentage of the entering freshman class that finished high school with a regular diploma four years later starting with the graduating class of 2011.  States will be able to request permission to get partial credit for students who take five or six years to graduate, and requires them to report graduation rates at the school, district, and state levels, and for each subgroup of students, not just the overall class.)

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