This author will review an article examining the sometimes misunderstood and often controversial methods for data collection and the reliability of the collected statistics used to determine the numbers of high school graduates. Reviewed in this paper will be conflicting approaches among the methods that were being suggested for use to all the state education agencies. The Greene Method (2002a), used by the Manhattan Institute (MI), suggested that completion ratios should be the focused method for determining education statistics. The National Center for Education (NCES, 2005-2006) differed in their belief that completion ratios, recommended by Greene and MI, presented too many variables that would obviously skew the numbers collected in the Greene Method. Hypothetical enrollment data was illustrated by the author with the use of charts to help the reader better understand the significant differences in the two systems of data collection. The research and opinions of Richard P. Phelps (2005), which were presented in this article, clearly lead the reader to question the methods that the MI adopted to be a successful level of measurement.
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES 3
Truth or Consequences
Statistical Inconsistencies among Graduation Rates and Completion Ratios
Tracking every student throughout their public school years has proven to be a rigorous and complicated job. In the recent history of our country, legislation known as No Child Left Behind was passed and demanded stricter accountability rates is measured in the public school system. The methods that have been used to track students are not without flaws and have been publically scrutinized by individuals as well as private institutes checking for accountability and even some well known public companies have thrown in their two cents. The comparisons made by the different data collectors in reporting the graduation rates showed some significant loop holes in their practices. Inaccurate data was considered acceptable and districts (jurisdictions) were allowed to contrive their own numbers without penalty. With these complications instigated by the many miscalculations, statisticians needed to figure out the best and most accurate way to estimate dropout rates and graduation rates. Even the definition of dropout was being questioned. How did the GED student, the migrant student who leaves mid year, the student who passes away or has to withdraw from school due to extraneous circumstances, get counted. The intent of this writer is to analyze report and add some insight to guidelines that are being used and scrutinized.
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES 4
If the truth were to be told, monitoring the accountability of public school students would be an impossible...