For the past 8 years, the Common Core of Data (CCD) universe collection at NCES has included a dropout component in the agency-level nonfiscal data collection. The number of participating states that report using consistent data definitions and collection procedures has increased from 14 states in the 1991-92 school year to 37 states and the District of Columbia for the 1998-99 school year (table 2)15. Each year a number of additional states submit data that do not meet the specified definitions and collection procedures. Once all states are participating fully in this data collection, event data for sex, race/ethnicity, and grades 9-12 will be aggregated at the national level.
The state level dropout rates for 1998-99 showed considerable variability ranging from 2.4 percent in North Dakota to 10.0 percent in Louisiana (table 2). In all, there were 3 states with dropout rates of less than 3 percent. Apart from North Dakota, Wisconsin had a dropout rate of 2.6 percent and Iowa had a dropout rate of 2.5 percent.