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Dropout Rates in the United States: 1994


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 Improvements Amendments of 1988 (P.L. 100-297), NCES released the first annual report on school dropouts in 1989.

This report, which is the seventh in the series, presents data for 1994 on high school dropout and retention rates. This report also examines high school completion and graduation rates. Included is an analysis of the 1994 high school completion status and subsequent life activities of members of the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88) cohort of eighth graders.

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 second 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.
Education Statistics

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