NASDCTEc has signed on in support of a new brief that encourage states’ use of extended-year graduation rates in adequate yearly progress calculations and incorporation of these rates into their state accountability frameworks/systems. Written by the American Youth Policy Forum, Gateway to College National Network, and the National Youth Employment Coalition, this brief, Making Every Diploma Count: Using Extended-Year Graduation Rates to Measure Student Success, aims to educate and inform states about the flexibilities that currently exist to use extended-year graduation rates as a policy mechanism to encourage schools and districts to continue to work with over-age, under-credit students.
These rates provide for the inclusion of students who take longer than four years to earn a high school diploma, but who successfully earn their credential in five or six years. Extended-year graduation rates allow states to document increases in graduation rates compared to the traditional four-year measure and highlight the successful work of schools and districts to get struggling and out-of-school students back on-track to graduation. The brief encourages states to calculate five- and six-year high school graduation rates to ensure that schools’ and districts’ efforts to serve struggling and off-track students are recognized and not discouraged.
The brief recommendations the following:
• In addition to four-year graduation rates, states should gather and report extended-year graduation rates.
• States should use extended year graduation rates for purposes of accountability.
• States should use extended graduation rates to create incentives for schools and districts to serve struggling and off-track students.