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Dropout Rates in the United States: 1995 / Foreword


The (NCES) collects and publishes information on the condition of education in the United States. Under mandate from the Hawkins-Stafford Elementary and Secondary School Improvements Amendments of 1988 (P.L. 100-297), NCES released the first annual report on school dropouts in 1989. Although the reporting of dropout statistics is no longer required by law, this report has been continued because of the importance of charting dropout behavior among Americas youths.

This report, which is the eighth in the series, presents data for 1995 on high school dropout and retention rates, and examines high school completion and graduation rates. In addition to extending time series data reported in earlier reports, this report focuses on three specific sub-populations that are at particular risk of dropping out of school: foreign-born persons attending U.S. schools, young adults who have been retained a grade or more while enrolled, and individuals who have some type of learning, physical, or other disability.

The report is based on the best and most current national data available at this time. It utilizes the Current Population Survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census to develop national event and status dropout rates and the NELS:88 to develop 8th- through 12th-grade and 10th- through 12th-grade cohort dropout rates. NCES is currently pursuing an extensive, integrated program to expand and improve data collected about dropouts. To this end, a dropout statistics collection was initiated in the 1991-92 school year as a component of the NCES Common Core of Data (CCD); data from the third year of that collection are included in this report.

I hope the information in this report will be useful in discussions about this critical national issue.

Pascal D. Forgione, Jr. Commissioner of Education Statistics

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