Sealing the Cracks: Using Graduation Data, Policy, and Practice to Keep All Kids on Track

Reads and Resources

In this report, the Data Quality Campaign partnered with the Chalkboard Project to create recommendations for improving the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR). The authors note that, while the ACGR has been successful in bringing comparability in graduation rates across states and school districts nationwide, there are multiple areas in which states can improve upon the measure. The authors include among their recommendations the use of consistent cohort assignment dates, the training of school staff in data literacy, engagement with leadership at the state, federal and district levels to renew focus on graduation, and inclusion of students enrolled in alternative schools or programs in graduation rate data. Some of the successful policies currently in use by states include:
  • Maryland’s inclusion of the calculations used to derive graduation rates in its annual state report card;
  • Kentucky’s early warning system that tracks student attendance and alerts principals and student attendance staff when a student becomes at risk of failing or dropping out; and
  • Iowa’s state goal of reaching a graduation rate of 95%, which has helped to focus efforts at all levels toward supporting students on their path to graduating.

Read it here.