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Dropout Rates in the United States: 2000


The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) collects and publishes information on the condition of education in the United States. Under mandate from the Hawkins-Stafford Elementary and Secondary School Improvement Amendments of 1988 (P.L. 100-297), NCES released the first annual report on school dropouts in 1989. Although law no longer requires the reporting of dropout statistics, this report has been continued because of the importance of charting dropout behavior among America's youth.

Dropout Rates in the United States: 2000 is the thirteenth in the series of annual dropout reports from NCES. The current report presents data for 2000 on high school dropout rates, and examines high school completion rates. In addition to extending time series data reported in earlier years, this report focuses on the characteristics of high school dropouts and high school completers in 2000.

The report is based on the best and most current national data available at this time. It utilizes the data from the Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau to develop national event and status dropout rates for young adults of various ages. As a part of an ongoing effort to expand and improve data collected about dropouts, NCES initiated a dropout statistics collection in the 1991-92 school year as a component of the Common Core of Data; data from the eighth year of that collection are included in this report for most states. Current Population Survey data are also used to develop national and state-specific high school completion rates.

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

Gary W. Phillips
Acting Commissioner
National Center for Education Statistics