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Executive Summary  
Event and Status Dropout Rates  
Type of Dropout Rates        
Event Dropout Rates        
Status Dropout Rates        
High School Completion Rates  
High School Completion Rates        
Method of High School Completion        
Text Tables and Figures  
Full Report (PDF)  

Type of Dropout Rates Event rates describe the proportion of students who leave school each year without completing a high school program. This annual measure of recent dropout occurrences provides important information about how effective educators are in keeping students enrolled in school.

Status rates provide cumulative data on dropouts among all young adults within a specified age range. Status rates are higher than event rates because they include all dropouts ages 16 through 24, regardless of when they last attended school. Since status rates reveal the extent of the dropout problem in the population, these rates also can be used to estimate the need for further education and training designed to help dropouts participate fully in the economy and life of the nation.

Cohort rates measure what happens to a group of students over a period of time. These rates are based on repeated measures of a cohort of students with shared experiences and reveal how many students starting in a specific grade drop out over time. Typically, data from longitudinal studies provide more background and contextual information on the students who drop out than are available through the CPS or CCD data collections5.

5 Cohort data are available only sporadically. The most recent information available is from the August 1994 Third Follow-up of the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988, which contains data on a cohort of the 8th grade class of 1988. These data were previously reported in U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Dropout Rates in the United States: 1998, NCES 2000-022, by P. Kaufman, J. Kwon, and S. Klein (Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2000) The next available cohort data will be data from the Fourth Follow-up to the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988. These data will follow-up dropouts from the 8th grade class of 1988, 8 years after their scheduled high school graduation. Results from the Fourth Follow-up are expected to be published in the 2000 annual dropout report.
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