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Public High School Dropouts and Completers from the Common Core of Data: School Years 1991-92 through 1997-98

Home
  Introductory Material
Section A
  Introduction
Section B
   1997–98 Dropouts and Completers
Section C
   Dropouts: Changes Over Time by Selected Characteristics
Section D
   High School Completers: Trends and Selected Characteristics
Section E
   Basic Tables
Section F
   Technical/Methodological Issues
Appendix
   Additional Tables
 
PDF File (1,026 KB)

Contact:
Lee Hoffman


Section B. 1997-98 Dropouts and Completers

  1. Dropouts
  2. High School Completers

I. Dropouts

In the 1997–98 school year, 37 states reported dropouts using the CCD definition. Table 1 presents data on 1997–98 dropouts and completers (figure A). The 9th–12th-grade dropout rate in the reporting states ranged from 2.8 percent in North Dakota and Wisconsin to 12.8 percent in the District of Columbia (note that the District of Columbia comprises a single urban school district). The majority of reporting states (19 of the 37) had dropout rates between 4.0 and 6.0 percent. Because of the differing size of states, the numbers of dropouts varied greatly between states. While Illinois had the greatest count of dropouts (37,568) among the reporting states, it did not have the largest dropout rate. On the other hand, North Dakota had the smallest number of dropouts (1,069) and shared the position of the lowest dropout rate (2.8 percent) with Wisconsin.

Four reporting states had dropout rates higher than 9.0: Arizona (9.4), Nevada (10.1), Louisiana (11.4), and the District of Columbia (12.8). Eight reporting states had dropout rates of 3.5 percent or lower: Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Figure A.—Percentage of public school students who dropped out of grades 9–12, by state: School year 1997–98
Figure A.-Percentage of public school students who dropped out of grades 9-12, by state: School year 1997-98
Figure A.-Percentage of public school students who dropped out of grades 9-12, by state: School year 1997-98
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data, "Local Education Agency Universe Dropout File: School Year 1997–98."

II. High School Completers

The number of high school completers varied widely as well, due to the size of the state's public school population. As expected, the largest state in public school population, California, had the most high school completers (over one-quarter of a million) and the District of Columbia, with the smallest public school population, had the fewest high school completers (2,905). Seven states had more than 100,000 high school completers: California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

In the 1997–98 school year, the 4 years of dropout data needed to calculate a high school four-year completion rate were available for 32 states (figure B). The high school four-year completion rates ranged from a high of 89.8 in Wisconsin to a low of 60.4 in Louisiana for those states with data. Five of the reporting states had a four-year completion rate above 85 percent: Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. As expected, these five states had the lowest dropout rates (with the exception of South Dakota). Five states had four-year completion rates below 70 percent: Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, and New Mexico (the District of Columbia did not report enough data to calculate a four-year completion rate).

Figure B.—Four-year high school completion rate, by state: School year 1997–98
Figure B.-Four-year high school completion rate, by state: School year 1997-98
Figure B.-Four-year high school completion rate, by state: School year 1997-98
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data, "State Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Dropout Date and Completion file: School Years 1991–92 through 1996–97 and 1997–98."

The majority of high school completion credentials are in the form of a diploma. Of the 32 states with data available to calculate a high school four-year completion rate, all but 3 states either reported other high school completer data (i.e., certificates of completion) or did not award any type of other high school completer credentials. For these 29 reporting states, other high school completers only made up 1.9 percent of all high school completers (derived from table 1).

Of these 29 states, 23 states awarded other high school completion credentials and had data necessary to calculate a four-year completion rate for other high school completers (e.g., certificates of completion). In 5 of these 23 states, the four-year completion rate for other high school completers was more than 5 percent. The highest proportion was in Alabama with 6.9 percent.

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