The Common Core of Data (CCD), administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), is an annual survey of the state-level education agencies in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 7 other jurisdictions.1 Through the CCD, statistical information is collected on all public school districts and their schools, staff, students, and finances. Information is not collected on private schools and their students, homeschoolers, individuals who never attended school in the United States, or those who have been out of a public school system for more than a year. Data from the CCD are used to calculate event dropout rates and averaged freshman graduation rates (AFGR) for public high school students.
The dropout data collection was initiated with a set of instructions to state CCD coordinators in the summer of 1991. Those instructions specified the details of dropout data to be collected during the 199192 school year. Dropouts are reported for the preceding school year. Thus, the 199192 data were submitted to NCES as a component of the 199293 CCD data collection. Most recently, the 200708 dropout data were submitted as a component of the 200809 CCD data collection. Dropout counts from Vermont were suppressed due to a high frequency of missing data. Rates are presented for the District of Columbia and 49 states that submitted data that could be reported for the 200708 school year; a reporting states rate was calculated based on data from the reporting states (table 5).
Data needed to estimate the AFGR, specifically data on diploma awards and enrollment by grade, have traditionally been part of the CCD data collection. Like dropout data, diploma recipient reports are lagged a year (e.g., 200607 diploma counts are in the 200708 data files).
1 1 Dropout and averaged freshman graduation rate (AFGR) data presented in this report are based on the following CCD data files: Local Education Agency Universe Survey Dropout and Completion Data File: School Years 199192 through 199697 (Version 1a); and Local Education Agency Universe Survey Dropout and Completion Data File, School Years 199798, 199899, 19992000, 200001 (Versions 1b), and 200102 (Version 0d); and State Nonfiscal Data File, School Years, 199798 (Version 1b), 199899 (Version 1c), 19992000 (Version 1c), 200001 (Version 1b), 200102 (Version 1b), 200203 (Version 1b), 200304 (Version 0c), 200405 (Version 0c), 200506 (Version 1a), 200607 (Version 1a), and 200708 (Version 1a). The seven other jurisdictions include Department of Defense dependents schools (domestic and overseas); Bureau of Indian Education; Puerto Rico; American Samoa; Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; Guam; and the U.S. Virgin Islands.