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Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2006

NCES 2008-053
September 2008

State Event Dropout Rates for Public High School Students

State-level event dropout rates specifically for public high school students are calculated using data from 1993 through 2004 from the CCD.18 The rates reported in this publication reflect the percentage of public school students who were enrolled in grades 9–12 at some point during the 2003–04 school year but were not enrolled in school in October 2004 and had not earned a high school diploma or completed a state- or district-approved education program.19 Some state or district education programs include special education programs and district- or state-sponsored GED programs. State event dropout rates are useful for evaluating the performance of public high school systems in reporting states. They do not include information about individuals outside the public school system. Rates are presented for the 48 states that submitted data for the 2003–04 school year; a national-level rate was calculated based on data from the reporting states (table 5). The District of Columbia, Oregon, and Wisconsin did not submit dropout data for 2003–04.

  • State event dropout rates for 9th- through 12th-grade public high school students: The 2003–04 CCD event dropout rates ranged from 1.8 percent in Connecticut and New Jersey to 7.9 percent in Louisiana (table 5). In all, event dropout rates for public school students in grades 9–12 were lower than 3 percent in 12 states: Connecticut and New Jersey, 1.8 percent; North Dakota, 2.0 percent; Iowa, 2.1 percent; Kansas, 2.2 percent; Indiana, 2.5 percent; Maine, 2.7 percent; Nebraska, Vermont, and Virginia, 2.8 percent; and Mississippi and Pennsylvania, 2.9 percent. Six states had event dropout rates of 6 percent or more: Nevada, 6.0 percent; Delaware, 6.1 percent; Washington, 6.5 percent; Arizona, 6.7 percent; Alaska, 7.0 percent; and Louisiana, 7.9 percent.


18 The most recent school year for which CCD dropout data are available for publication is 2003–04. More recent CCD data are reported later in this report (i.e., averaged freshman graduation rates for 2004–05 are calculated based on 2005–06 CCD data).
19 Some states report using an alternative 1-year period from one July to the next. Rates for those states are presented because event dropout rates based on the July-to-July calendar are comparable to those calculated using an October-to-October calendar (Winglee et al. 2000).