Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Event Dropout Rates for Public School Students in Grades 9-12: 2002–03 and 2003–04

A report from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) - U.S. Dept. of Education released today summarizes and compares dropout rates among public high school students by state for two school years, 2002-03 and 2003-04.
The event dropout rate measures the percentage of high school students who drop out in a given year. A dropout is a student who was enrolled at the beginning of the year, not enrolled at the beginning of the next year, and who did not graduate from high school or complete some other district- or state-approved educational program.

The report can be found here: Event Dropout Rates for Public School Students in Grades 9-12: 2002–03 and 2003–04

The 5 U.S. states with the highest dropout rates in the 2002-03 school year were:
  • Arizona* 8.5%

  • Alaska 7.6%

  • Louisiana 7.5%

  • Washington 6.2%

  • Nevada 6.1%

  • In the 2003-04 school year the 5 highest U.S. states were:
  • Louisiana 7.9%

  • Alaska 7.0%

  • Arizona* 6.7%

  • Washington 6.5%

  • Delaware 6.1%

  • * Arizona used an alternative calendar for each year shown, reporting students who drop out between one July and the next.

    Of these worst states, Arizona, Alaska and Nevada improved, but Louisiana, Washington, and Delaware were headed in the wrong direction.

    On a side note, in Washington state, Gov. Gregoire signed a bill that delays until 2013 the requirement that high school students pass the Math and Science section of the WASL test for graduation. Originally, the graduation requirement to pass the WASL was supposed to begin with the class of 2008. From the Seattle Times today:

    The WASL was created in response to state and federal pressure to hold high-school students to higher academic standards.

    According to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 10,831 of this year's high school juniors who have taken the test did not pass the reading portion, 11,718 haven't passed writing and 32,855 haven't passed math. The class includes 82,992 students, but not all have taken all three sections of the test.

    So, we put a bar up in order to ensure that we were graduating "educated" adults, and then we take that bar away when we realize that "educated" may be to lofty of a goal?

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