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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2017266 Puerto Rico school characteristics and student graduation: Implications for research and policy
The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between Puerto Rico’s high school characteristics and student graduation rates. The study examines graduation rates for all public high schools for students who started grade 10 in 2010/11 (in Puerto Rico high school begins in grade 10) and were expected to graduate at the end of the 2012/13 school year, which were the most recent graduation data available. Using data provided by the Puerto Rico Department of Education as well as publicly available data, this study first examined the correlational relationships between graduation rates and two types of variables: student composition characteristics, which are not amenable to change or intervention but help to improve the description of graduation trends in Puerto Rico (for example, the percentage of students who are living in poverty); and school characteristics, which are amenable to change or intervention by officials (for example, the ratio of students per teacher). Regression analyses were used to estimate the conditional association between various characteristics and on-time graduation in Puerto Rico high schools after controlling for other factors. The percentage of students proficient in Spanish language arts was associated with higher graduation rates, after controlling for other school characteristics both overall and by subgroup (males, females, students below poverty, and special education students). After controlling for other characteristics, the percentage of students proficient in mathematics was not associated with graduation rates. Lower student-to-teacher ratios were associated with higher graduation rates for males, students living in poverty, and special education students, after controlling for other school characteristics. The percentage of highly qualified teachers was associated with lower graduation rates overall and for all subgroups except females, after controlling for other school characteristics. Correlations between each school characteristic and graduation rates are also presented in the report. The findings from this study provide a starting point for stakeholders in Puerto Rico who are interested in addressing the low rates of graduation in their high schools and communities through the use of data-driven decision-making.
REL 2014005 Does raising the state compulsory school attendance age achieve the intended outcomes?
Many states have raised the compulsory school attendance age to 17 or 18, anticipating that a reduction in dropout, truancy, and discipline problems will more than compensate for the higher costs of educating students longer. This review examines the evidence on whether a higher compulsory school attendance age results in improved student outcomes.

Against this background, this review addresses the following research questions:
  • What changes have occurred in dropouts, truancy, and disciplinary actions in states that raised their compulsory school attendance age during 2002–11?
  • What broader social outcomes have been identified in studies using national datasets?
  • How have these states measured changes in these expected outcomes?
REL 2011103 Dropout Prevention Programs in Nine Mid-Atlantic Region School Districts: Additions to a Dropout Prevention Database
This report describes dropout prevention programs identified by respondents in nine school districts in the Mid-Atlantic Region, along with a searchable database of the programs. The programs expand a database developed in an earlier North-east and Islands Region study. Only 1 of the 58 identified programs has been reviewed for effectiveness by the What Works Clearinghouse.
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