By: Geoff Zimmerman
The high school graduation rate is a key outcome indicator that we track as a region to understand how many students are successfully completing high school. It is a key outcome for the Strive Partnership and it is one of the three education focused Bold Goals for our region coming out of this recent comprehensive community engagement effort led by United Way.
It’s also one of the most confusing due to the numerous ways in which high school graduation rates can be calculated. As a result, local education, policy, and business leaders are left wondering which graduation rate statistics are the most credible. This post is an update of a brief that I put together a couple years ago intended to provide an overview of the different types of graduation rate calculations, some of the challenges associated with each method, and steps being taken to improve our understanding of graduation and dropout rates. It is critical that we have an accurate picture of how many students are completing high school.