NEWS: PUBLIC SCHOOL GRADUATES AND DROPOUTS FROM THE COMMON CORE OF DATA: SCHOOL YEAR 2009-10
— NCES released in January, 2013, their “provisional data” on the 2009-2010 graduates and dropouts.
- NCES estimates that 78.2% of 2006-2007 9th graders graduated in four years in 2010.
- By race/ethnic group, the estimated rates are:
- 93.5% for Asian/Pacific islander students
- 83.0 % for white students
- 71.4% for Hispanic students
- 69.1 % for American Indian/Alaska native students
- 66.1 % for black students
- A comparison to the prior school year, 2008–09, shows a percentage point or greater increase for 38 states. Only the District of Columbia decreased by more than a percentage point.
- A total of 514,238 public school students dropped out of grades 9–12, resulting in a calculated overall event dropout rate of 3.4% in 2009–10. New Hampshire and Idaho had the lowest event dropout rates at 1.2% and 1.4%, respectively. Mississippi and Arizona had the highest at 7.4 and 7.8 percent, respectively. The median state dropout rate was 3.4%.
- The dropout rates increased as grade-level increased. The lowest dropout rate was for grade 9 (2.6%). The highest dropout rate was for grade 12 (5.1%).
- The dropout rate for each race/ethnic group was:
- 1.9% for Asian/Pacific islander students
- 2.3% for white students
- 5.0% for Hispanic students
- 5.5% black
- 6.7% for American Indian/Alaska native
- Across the United States the dropout rate was higher for males (3.8%) than for females (2.9%), respectively. The dropout rate was higher among males in every state.
The full report is at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2013309.
We characterize the graduation rates as estimates because NCES employs their Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR), which averages 8th, 9th, and 10th grade enrollment as the denominator for the number of graduates four years later. Their studies have confirmed that this is the closest estimate to actually following a cohort of 9th graders through graduation.
Comparisons between high school event dropout rates across school years within states showed significant fluctuations. Some examples of annual changes from 2008-09 to 2009-10: 11.5% to 2.9% (75% fewer dropouts), 4.2% to 7.4% (76% more dropouts), and 1.1% to 6.0% (445% more dropouts). Clearly this is not yet a stable indicator for some states.