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 Pub Number  Title  Date
NCES 2017160 Private School Universe Survey (PSS): Public-Use Data File User’s Manual for School Year 2015–16
User's Manual for the 2015-16 PSS public-use data file, including code book.
REL 2017272 Getting students on track for graduation: Impacts of the Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System after one year
Early warning systems that use research-based warning signs to identify students at risk of dropping out of high school have emerged as one strategy for improving graduation rates. This study tested the impact of one early warning system, the Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System (EWIMS), on 37,671 students in grades 9 and 10 and their schools after one year of implementation. Seventy-three high schools were randomly assigned to implement EWIMS during the 2014/15 school year or to continue their usual practices for identifying and supporting students at risk of not graduating on time. Impact findings show that EWIMS reduced the percentage of students with risk indicators related to chronic absence and course failure but not related to low grade point averages, suspensions, or insufficient credits to graduate. At the school level, EWIMS did not have a detectable impact on school data culture, that is, the ways in which schools use data to make decisions and identify students in need of additional support. Findings suggest that overall implementation of the EWIMS seven-step process was low in nearly all EWIMS schools, and that implementation of EWIMS was challenging for participating schools. The authors hypothesize that other school-level processes, unmeasured in this study, also may have contributed to impacts on students. For example, effects might have emerged for chronic absence and course failure if schools prioritized encouraging students to show up and participate in their courses, even if they did not have a sophisticated set of interventions. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms through which EWIMS had an impact on chronic absence and course failure. This report provides rigorous, initial evidence that even with limited implementation during the first year of adoption, use of a comprehensive early warning system such as EWIMS can reduce the percentage of students who are chronically absent or who fail one or more courses. These short-term results are promising because chronic absence and course failures in grades 9 and 10 are two key indicators that students are off track for graduation.
NCES 2017065 Private School Universe Survey (PSS) Restricted-Use Data File User's Manuel for School Year 2013-14
This is the data file user's manual for the 2013-14 restricted-use data. Contents include sections on frame creation, data collection, data preparation, guide to the restricted-use data, and user notes and cautions. The 2013-14 PSS questionnaire, record layout, and codebook are also included.
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 2017237 Graduation outcomes of students who entered New York City public schools in grade 5 or 6 as English learner students
This study describes high school graduation outcomes for students who entered New York City schools in grade 5 or 6 as English learner students. It uses longitudinal administrative data from New York City public schools to focus on 1,734 students who entered New York City schools and were initially classified as English learner students in grades 5 and 6 in the 2003/04 school year. This study followed these cohorts through their expected years of graduation (2009/10 and 2010/11) to estimate on-time graduation rates and for two additional years (that is, through 2011/12 and 2012/13) to estimate five-year and six-year graduation rates. To determine if the differences in graduation outcomes between the sub-groups of long-term English learner students and short-term English learner students were statistically significant, logistic regression was used. Approximately 64 percent of students in these cohorts graduated from high school on time while an additional 15 percent graduated within six years of entering grade 9, yielding a six-year cohort graduation rate of 79 percent. Students in these cohorts earned a variety of diploma types including the standard Regents diploma (41 percent), the more rigorous Advanced Regents diploma (19 percent), and the less rigorous Local diploma (19 percent). Additional exploratory regression analyses indicated that long-term English learner students had statistically significantly higher probabilities of earning a Local diploma and statistically significantly lower probabilities of earning a Regents diploma or an Advanced Regents diploma than short-term English learner students. The differences in diploma types earned by long-term and short-term English learner students are not explained by differences in their background characteristics. This study has implications for understanding graduation patterns of English learners. Six-year graduation rates may be particularly important to consider when describing the graduation outcomes of students who enter school as English learner students. Policy makers should explore the implications for college readiness of the higher rate of English learner students receiving the less rigorous Local diploma versus a Regents diploma or an Advanced Regents diploma. Future efforts to investigate the extent to which districts and schools are meeting the needs of English learner students need to be careful to track students over time, regardless of whether they have met standards for English proficiency.
REL 2017205 High school graduation rates across English learner student subgroups in Arizona
This study examined observed and predicted four-year high school graduation rates among native English speakers (students who have never been designated as English learners) and four English learner subgroups in Arizona: long-term English learner students; new English learner students; recently proficient former English learner students; and long-term proficient former English learner students. These student subgroups were determined by the amount of time a student spent as a designated English learner student and when a former English learner student was reclassified as fluent English proficient prior to high school.

The observed four-year high school graduation rate was calculated for each student subgroup as the percentage of students in each student subgroup who graduated within four years of entering grade 9. The predicted four-year high school graduation rate was calculated for each student subgroup using logistic regression, and adjusted for student demographic characteristics and prior achievement.

Results show that the largest difference in observed graduation rates, 36.1 percentage points, occurred between never English learner students and long-term English learner students. When comparing students with similar demographic characteristics only, the differences in predicted graduation rates across the student subgroups were about the same as those in observed graduation rates; however, when comparing students with both similar demographic characteristics and similar prior academic achievement, the gaps in graduation rates across the subgroups narrowed to a maximum of 5.5 percentage points. These results suggest that prior academic achievement, rather than demographic characteristics, explained most of the differences in graduation rates across the student subgroups and may have been a key factor driving graduation outcomes. To improve high school graduation rate for all the students, policymakers and educators might consider differentiating programs and practices for the needs of these English learner subgroups and developing programs that focus on promoting students’ academic achievement prior to high school. More research is needed about how to help high school English learners (long-term and new English learner students) to learn both academic English and subject matter content knowledge during high school.
REL 2016118 Identifying early warning indicators in three Ohio school districts
The purpose of this study was to identify a set of data elements for students in grades 8 and 9 in three Ohio school districts that could serve as accurate early warning indicators of their failure to graduate high school on time and to comparatively examine the accuracy of those indicators. In order to identify the set of indicators with the optimal accuracy for each district, the research team collected student-level data on two cohorts of grade 8 and 9 students in each school district. Datasets used in the analyses included students’ four-year graduation status (the outcome) and 8th and 9th grade data on attendance, coursework, suspensions, and test score records (the candidate early warning indicators). Logistic regression and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were used to identify the candidate indicators that were the consistent predictors of students’ failure to graduate on time in each district and to identify the cut points on the original scales that most accurately distinguish students who were at risk of not graduating on time from those who did graduate on time. The analyses were restricted to students who were first-time freshmen within the districts in 2006/07 or 2007/08, and excluded students who entered the district after grade 9. Students in the 2006/07 cohort graduated in 2010, and students in the 2007/08 cohort graduated in 2011. The three districts included in the study varied in size, demographic composition, and locale. Results show that the optimal cut point for classifying students as at risk varied significantly across districts for five of the eight candidate indicators included in the study. Across the three districts and two grades, different indicators were identified as the most accurate predictors of students’ failure to graduate on time. End-of-year attendance rate was the only indicator that was a consistent predictor for both grades in all three districts. The most accurate indicators in both grade 8 and grade 9 were based on coursework (GPAs and course credits). Consistent with prior literature, failing more than one class and earning one or more suspensions also were strong predictors of failure to graduate on time. On average, indicators were more accurate in grade 9 than in grade 8. Findings illustrate why it is important for districts to conduct local validation using their own data to verify that indicators selected for their early warning systems accurately predict students’ failure to graduate on time. The methods laid out in this study can be used to help districts identify the best off-track indicators, and indicator cut points, for their particular early warning systems.
NCES 2016144 The Condition of Education 2016
NCES has a mandate to report to Congress on the condition of education by June 1 of each year. The Condition of Education 2016 summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The 2016 report presents 43 key indicators on the status and condition of education and are grouped under four main areas: (1) population characteristics, (2) participation in education, (3) elementary and secondary education, and (4) postsecondary education. Also included in the report are 3 Spotlight indicators that provide a more in-depth look at some of the data.
NCES 2015015 Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972-2012
This report updates a series of NCES reports on high school dropout and completion rates that began in 1988. The report draws on an array of nationally representative surveys and administrative datasets to present statistics on high school dropout and completion rates. The report includes national estimates of the percentage of students who drop out in a given 12-month period (event dropout rates), the percentage of young people in a specified age range who are high school dropouts (status dropout rates), and the percentage of young people in a specified age range who hold high school credentials (status completion rates). In addition, the report includes state-level data on event dropout rates and the percentage of students who graduate within four years of starting ninth grade (adjusted cohort graduation rates). Data are presented by a number of characteristics including race/ethnicity, sex, and socioeconomic status.
REL 2015079 Early Identification of High School Graduation Outcomes in Oregon Leadership Network Schools
The purpose of this study was to examine student characteristics related to completing high school within four years, with particular emphasis on graduation outcomes for male and English language learner students. The authors looked at a cohort of students who began grade 9 in the 2007/08 school year in four Oregon districts. Factors related to three key graduation outcomes were analyzed: dropping out within four years of starting grade 9, graduating on time (within four years), and staying in school but not graduating on time. Findings confirmed previous studies showing that attendance and grade point average (GPA) in grades 8 and 9 are significantly associated with graduating on time. In addition, race/ethnicity and achievement on standardized tests are less predictive of graduating on time after other factors are considered. When the influence of demographic, behavioral, and academic characteristics were considered at the same time, only gender, status as an English language learner, and attendance and GPA in grades 8 and 9 were associated with graduation outcomes. Practitioners and policymakers concerned with early identification of students at-risk of not graduating on time could consider these early warning indicators: grade 8 attendance rates below 80 percent; grade 8 GPA of less than 2.0; grade 9 attendance rates below 80 percent, and grade 9 GPA of less than 2.0.
NCES 2014391 Public High School Four-Year On-Time Graduation Rates and Event Dropout Rates: School Years 2010–11 and 2011–12
This report includes four-year on-time graduation rates and dropout rates for school years 2010-11 and 2011-12. A four-year on-time graduation rate provides measure of the percent of students that successfully complete high school in 4-years with a regular high school diploma. This report includes national and state-level Averaged Freshman Graduation Rates, which NCES has been producing for many years as an estimator for on-time graduation. New to this year’s report, NCES builds off the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education’s release of state-level Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate data required under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
NCES 2013399REV Data File: Common Core of Data Local Education Agency Universe Survey Graduation Restricted-Use Data File: School Year 2009-10, version 1a
This Restricted-use data file publishes data on high school completers at the local education agency (LEA) or school district level. These data were collected as part of the Common Core of Data (CCD) component of the Department of Education's Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN) Collection System. The High School Dropout count, rate, and associated enrollment are provided on this file. High school completion totals are presented for both regular high school diploma recipients and for other high school completers. The Average Freshman Graduation Rate, and the components needed to compute this rate are also provided.
NCES 2013309REV Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2009–10
This report presents the number of high school graduates, the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR), and the dropout data for grades 9–12 for public schools in school year 2009–10 as reported by State Education Agencies to the NCES Common Core of Data Universe Survey of public elementary and secondary institutions.
NCES 2012046 Higher Education: Gaps in Access and Persistence Study
The Higher Education: Gaps in Access and Persistence Study is a congressionally-mandated statistical report that documents the scope and nature of gaps in access and persistence in higher education by sex and race/ethnicity. The report presents 46 indicators grouped under seven main topic areas: (1) demographic context; (2) characteristics of schools; (3) student behaviors and afterschool activities; (4) academic preparation and achievement; (5) college knowledge; (6) postsecondary education; and (7) postsecondary outcomes and employment. In addition, the report contains descriptive multivariate analyses of variables that are associated with male and female postsecondary attendance and attainment.
REL 2012134 Using the Freshman On-Track Indicator to Predict Graduation in Two Urban Districts in the Midwest Region
This report examines how well the freshman on-track indicator developed by the Consortium on Chicago School Research predicts on-time graduation in two urban districts in the Midwest Region. This indicator classifies students at the end of the first year of high school as on-track or off-track to graduate based on grade 9 course credits earned and failures.

REL Midwest examined on-track and off-track rates and for recent freshman cohorts as well as 4-year graduation rates for on-track and off-track students.

Key findings include:
  • For both districts, students who were on track at the end of grade 9 graduated on time at a higher rate than did students who were off track. This was the case both overall and for student subgroups based on gender, race/ethnicity, special education status, free or reduced-price lunch status, age, and proficiency level on grade 8 state math and reading assessments.
  • For the 2005/06 cohort, the on-time graduation rate in District A was 80.7 percent for on-track students and 30.2 percent for off-track students; in District B, it was 91 percent for on-track students and 45 percent for off-track students.
  • On-track status was a significant predictor of on-time graduation, even after controlling for student background characteristics and grade 8 achievement test scores. The effect size for on-track status was larger than the effect sizes for any student background characteristic and for achievement test scores.
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