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Goal: Ensure that all students are on track to graduate from high school on-time and ready for college and careers.
Objective: Improve high school graduation rates.
How progress is measured: The percent of public school freshmen graduating from high school within 4 years: 2006-07 and 2007-08
Why is this measure important? The primary goal of K-12 education is to ensure that all students graduate from high school and are ready to succeed in college and careers. Today, our dropout rate is unacceptably high: only 75% of high school students earn a diploma with their freshman class.
What do the data tell us at the national level? The Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) in the United States was higher in 2007–08 (75 percent) than it was in 2006–07 (74 percent).
What are the limitations of the indicator? The AFGR provides an estimate of the percentage of high school students who graduate on time. The rate uses aggregate student enrollment data to estimate the size of an incoming freshman class and counts of the number of diplomas awarded 4 years later. The incoming freshman class size is estimated by adding the enrollment in 8th grade in one year, 9th grade for the next year, and 10th grade for the year after, and then dividing by three. The averaging is intended to account for prior-year retentions in the 9th grade. Although not as accurate as an on-time graduation rate computed from a cohort of students using student record data, this estimate of an on-time graduation rate can be computed with currently available cross-sectional data. Based on a technical review and analysis, the AFGR was selected from a number of alternative estimates that can be calculated using available cross-sectional data (Seastrom et al. 2006a, 2006b)., For additional information on this study, see http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006604.
Documentation for the indicator: The Common Core of Data (CCD) annually collects fiscal and non-fiscal data about public elementary/secondary education from state education agencies. The CCD is a universe collection of school data from all states; thus, CCD data are not subject to sampling errors. The averaged freshman graduation rate is a measure of the percentage of the incoming freshman class in a given year that graduates 4 years later. For additional information on the CCD, see: http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/. For more information on the AFGR, see: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2010/graduates/.
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