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Journal Article Review: Studies Decry Faulty Graduation Data, Rising Dropout Rates.

657 words - 3 pages

Are high school dropouts really as bad as they appear? Reports have suggested that the high school graduation rates are really worse than they appear to the citizens of the United States. "The Education Trust report, released June 23, contends that states in all regions of the country calculate graduation rates in ways that understate dropout problems. The report also criticizes states for setting low targets for improving graduation rates under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, and the federal government for letting them do so"(Richard).If graduation rates continue to fall it may threaten the state's movement in improving student test scores, children attending preschool, and all other advances. The SREB report says, that we have "dropped by 5 percentage points from 1992 to 2002, while the overall national graduation rate dropped 2 points, to about 70 percent" (Richard). Every state in the United States is required to report their graduation rates, beginning with the 2002-03 school year, under the No Child Left Behind law. Regardless of this law these reports show that the majority of the sates are lacking a way of refined "student-tracking systems" (Richards) that would allocate for our statistics to be measured more accurately. Although some states seem to be putting these systems into place now, "the Education Trust says, others have reported "implausibly high" graduation rates or used "ludicrous" methods to calculate them. One example the report points to is New Mexico, where state officials report a 90 percent graduation rate. The report says the state counts high school seniors who receive diplomas--a method that ignores the numbers of students who drop out in 9th, 10th, or 11th grade" (Richards). Similarly, this same report states a 97 percent graduation rate which North Carolina reports is only based on the percent of "actual graduates who received their diplomas in four years or less" (Richards). This same report also states that three states "Alabama, Louisiana, and Massachusetts...

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