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Posts Tagged ‘Graduation Rates’

NCES Releases 2008-2009 Graduation and Dropout Rates

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

This week, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released public school graduation and dropout statistics from the 2008-2009 school year. The report includes the number of high school graduates, the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate, and dropout data for 9th to 12th grade public school students.

In 22 states and the District of Columbia, graduation rates increased by at least one percentage point since the 2007-2008 school year. The averaged freshman graduation rate in the United States is 75.5 percent, though this ranged from 56.3 percent to 90.7 percent across individual states.

Additionally, over 600,000 students (grades 9 to 12) reportedly dropped out of high school during the 2008-2009 school year, resulting in a 4.1 percent dropout rate. Almost half of all states indicated that dropout rates increased as grade level increased – from an average 3.2 percent dropout rate for 9th grade students to a 6 percent rate for 12th grade students.

For more information, see Public School Graduates and Dropouts From the Common Core of Data: School Year 2008-2009.

By Kara in Uncategorized

Spring Meeting: Duncan Pushes for Higher CTE Student Outcomes

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Though he sees Career Technical Education (CTE) as “a tremendous force for good,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan believes that many CTE programs are not delivering the necessary student outcomes.

At the NASDCTEc/OVAE Joint Leadership Meeting last week, Duncan told State Directors and other attendees that many CTE programs are not rigorous enough, and that they need to focus more on preparing CTE students for high-skill, high-wage, high-demand jobs.

The Secretary also emphasized that postsecondary completion is the bottom line; CTE programs must prepare students to earn postsecondary credentials or industry-recognized certifications. This is not surprising as the country strives to meet President Obama’s goal to have the highest number of college graduates in the world by 2020.

Besides achieving high postsecondary or certificate completion rates, Duncan proposed that quality CTE programs must demonstrate increased graduation rates and decreased dropout rates.

Duncan stated that programs or schools exhibiting high statistics in these areas should be replicated, while CTE programs not yielding results should be phased out. While he promotes taking successful CTE programs to scale, the Secretary separately noted that programs should be locally-driven and “the opposite of cookie-cutter.”

Sharing best practices in CTE is critical at this time. CTE programs that are not yielding high-achieving students must look to the examples of more successful programs and revamp.

Despite Duncan’s message, State Directors continue to cite encouraging statistics and compelling examples showing the success of CTE in preparing college- and career-ready students.

By Kara in Uncategorized

Legislative Update: AMERICA Works, 21st Century Careers, Every Student Counts, Financial Literacy, Middle Schools

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Amid all of the budget action over the last few weeks, Congress has also introduced a number of bills that may be of interest.

AMERICA Works Act

Rep. Joe Donnelly (IN) introduced H.R. 1325, the AMERICA Works Act, which would require that certain Federal job training and career education programs give a priority to programs that provide an recognized and nationally portable credential. This bill is similar to the one introduced by Sen. Kay Hagan (NC) last session. The bill would amend Perkins such that state plans would describe how the eligible agency would give priority to programs of study that lead to a skills credential that is in high demand in the area served and listed in the registry described in the AMERICA Works Act.

Providing Innovation to 21st Century Careers Act

Sen. Patty Murray (WA) introduced S. 830, the Providing Innovation to 21st Century Careers Act, to establish partnerships to create or enhance educational and skills development pathways to 21st century careers. The bill would fund $912 million in competitive grants to be used by state and regional partnerships to help students graduate high school and enter postsecondary education or a skilled career. State and regional partnerships would include representatives from secondary, postsecondary, business, labor, workforce, and economic development organizations. These partnerships would develop career pathways for high school students that include counseling, mentoring, work-based experiences, and support to obtain degrees, apprenticeships, and other postsecondary credentials.

Every Student Counts Act

Sen. Tom Harkin (IA) introduced S.767, the Every Student Counts Act . The goal of the bill is to improve the calculation of, reporting of, and accountability for high school graduation rates. The bill would also give credit to schools, districts and states for graduating students in more than four years, as long as they graduate the majority of all students in four years. The bill also provides incentives for schools, districts and states to create programs to serve students who have already dropped out of school, are over-age or under credited. The Every Student Counts Act builds on the National Governors Association’s Graduation Rate Compact that was signed by all 50 of the nation’s governors in 2005. Rep. Bobby Scott (VA) introduced companion bill, H.R. 1419, in the House.

Financial and Economic Literacy Improvement Act

Sen. Patty Murray (WA) introduced S. 787, the Financial and Economic Literacy Improvement Act, which aims to provide grants to promote financial literacy for students and adults. The grants would provide funding to states for resources to teach financial literacy in K-12 schools and 2-and 4-year colleges. The bill also proposes a clearinghouse of resources, tools, and best practices for financial and economic literacy education.

Success in the Middle Act

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) introduced S. 833, the Success in the Middle Act, which would fund grants for states to help school districts improve low-performing middle schools. The grants would be used for early intervention systems for at-risk youth, transition programs between elementary, middle, and high school, professional development, extended learning time, and personal academic plans. While the bill does not specifically mention CTE, there does seem to be a clear connection between the purposes of this bill and the work being done by the CTE community.

By Nancy in Uncategorized

New Report and State Profiles Show Economic Benefit of Cutting Dropout Rates

Friday, March 25th, 2011

The Alliance for Excellent Education released a report and individual state profiles this week that show how cutting the high school dropout rate can have a positive impact on the economy. Education and the Economy: Boosting the Nation’s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates found that if the high school graduation rate were cut in half, these 650,000 “new graduates” would benefit the economy in some of the following ways:

The dollar amounts included in the report represent the economic returns from cutting the dropout rate for only one high school class. The Alliance points out that increasing the graduation rates for future classes would create cumulative benefits that would be exponentially greater.  Later this spring, the Alliance will release similar projections for metropolitan areas.

“Decisions on how to close budget gaps and build a strong economy must begin with ensuring better educational outcomes for the nation’s students,” said Alliance president Bob Wise. “There’s been a lot of talk about how budget deficits threaten our children’s future, but the best way to cut budget deficits is to cut dropout rates.”

You can access information about the economic benefits of cutting the graduation rate in your state here.

By Nancy in Uncategorized

Upcoming Regional Summits Focus on Increasing Community College Grad Rate

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Beginning this month, selected participants from community colleges, philanthropic organizations, state and local government, and businesses will come together to address one goal: identifying best institutional practices to increase America’s college graduation rate.

The Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) is sponsoring four one-day regional community college summits in an effort to continue strategic conversations started at the first White House Summit on Community Colleges in October. Attendees will discuss the role of community colleges in meeting President Obama’s goal for America – to have the highest proportion of college graduates worldwide by 2020.

Each regional summit will focus on one of the following areas: Serving military personnel, their families and veterans; Supporting the transition of low-skilled adults into community college; Rethinking developmental education, or Creating sustainable business partnerships. Additionally, attendees will take part in panel discussions and breakout sessions on relevant topics (e.g., “Secondary to Postsecondary and Two-to-Four-Year Transfer” or “Industry Partnerships”), and hear remarks from the State’s Governor, the City’s Mayor, and the President of the hosting community college. The regional summits will take place as follows:

February 28: Community College of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)

March 9: Lone Star Community College District (Houston, TX)

March 23: Ivy Tech Community College (Indianapolis, IN)

April 15: San Diego Community College District (San Diego, CA)

Week of April 25: Community College Virtual Symposium

For more information, or if you would like to be considered for attendance at one of the regional summits, please see OVAE’s Community College Regional Summits document.

By Kara in Uncategorized

Legislative Update: Budget, Jobs Hearing, ESEA, Fast Track to College Act

Friday, January 28th, 2011

House Republicans Set Budget Levels for FY11

This week the House passed House Resolution 38, which directs Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (WI) to issue budget allocations for FY 11 non-security discretionary spending at FY 08 levels or lower. The House approved the resolution by a vote of 256-165, with all Republicans and 17 Democrats voting for it. Allocations at FY08 levels would mean a 13.6 percent cut in federal programs across the board, and would result in a $9.42 billion reduction in spending for education programs from the current funding level.

Chairman Ryan is slated to provide the House Appropriations Committee with figures the week of February 7  that they can use to prepare a continuing resolution (CR). House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA) wants a vote on the CR the week of February 14 before the current CR expires in March. President Obama is also scheduled to release his FY12 budget the week of February 14.

House Holds Hearing on American Workforce

The House Education and Workforce Committee held its first hearing of the 112th Congress this week, State of the American Workforce, which focused on the current state of the U.S. workforce and strategies to encourage the private sector to hire new workers. In his testimony, Gov. Bob McDonnell (VA) spoke about his state’s goal to graduate an additional 100,000 postsecondary students, especially in high demand STEM fields. During questioning, Rep. Bobby Scott (VA) asked if “vocational education opportunities” would be part of this plan, and McDonnell stated that two-year certificates and Associate degrees will help individuals obtain well paying jobs.

Administration and Senate Vow to Work Together on ESEA This Year

On a call with media this week Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, along with the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee’s chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (IA), ranking member Sen. Mike Enzi (WY), and Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN), the ranking member of the subcommittee overseeing K-12 policy, said that they intend to move quickly and in a bipartisan manner on a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Some areas of agreement included: changing the AYP system, focusing on the lowest performing schools, advancing teacher evaluation systems, and disaggregating data by subgroups.

Harkin stated that he would like to have a bill ready for mark up by the Easter recess, and on the floor by the summer. He said the committee is going begin writing the legislation, without further hearings (the committee held 10 hearings last year).

Fast Track to College Act

This week Herb Kohl (WI) introduced S. 154, Fast Track to College Act, which would authorize the Secretary of Education to make grants to support early college high schools and other dual enrollment programs in an effort to reduce high school dropout rates and improve access to college for students.

By Nancy in Uncategorized

Legislative Update: ESEA, Appropriations, Senate Retirements

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Sen. Harkin Plans to Draft ESEA This Spring

Senator Tom Harkin (IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has announced that he hopes to have a draft of the ESEA reauthorization bill by the time the Senate recesses in April, with plans to bring it to the floor in late spring. Senator Michael Enzi (WY), Ranking Member of the committee, has not committed to this timeline, but his office has said that “a bipartisan bill remains a top priority.”

Harkin will be getting help this session from Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM) who will take over retired Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd’s role as the “Number Two” man on ESEA reauthorization in the Senate. Bingaman’s focus has been on English-language learners, math and science education, high school reform and graduation rates.

In the House, Rep. John Kline (MN), Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee, has made it clear that he hopes to pass a series of smaller bills to address the issues contained in ESEA, rather than a large scale overhaul. It remains unclear how this will play out as both chambers must reach compromise in order to pass a bill.

House Names Labor-HHS Democratic Assignments

We told you last week which Republicans would serve on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, which oversees funding decisions for education programs. This week we have word on which Democrats will be on the subcommittee:

A Number of Senators Announce Retirements in 2012

Last week Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (TX) announced that she will not run for reelection in 2012. The senior Senator from Texas has served in Congress since 1993 and is a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services which oversees Perkins funding.

Sen. Kent Conrad (ND) released a statement this week saying that he will not seek reelection in 2012. First elected to Congress in 1986, Conrad currently serves as the chair of the Senate Budget Committee and is one of the Senate’s most powerful members.

On Wednesday Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT) announced that he would not seek a fifth term in 2012. Lieberman has served Connecticut in the Senate since 1988 and is Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He also serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee.

By Nancy in Uncategorized

New Report Finds 48 States on Track to Use Common Graduation Rate in 2011

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

In 2005, governors from all 50 states signed the National Governors Association’s (NGA) Graduation Counts Compact to voluntarily implement a common and reliable formula for calculating their state’s high school graduation rate.  The Compact focuses on: using a common, four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate formula; building state data collection and reporting capacity; developing additional student outcome indicators; and reporting annually on progress toward these commitments.

A new report from the NGA Center for Best Practices shows that 26 states are now reporting high school graduation rates according to a common formula. Implementing Graduation Counts: State Progress to Date, 2010 also reports that 48 states plan to report their graduation rates using a common formula by the end of 2011.

“Governors agreed to use a more consistent and accurate graduation rate formula because they understand that better information on student outcomes is critical for ensuring that all students graduate from high school prepared for college, work and life,” said John Thomasian, director of the NGA Center. “The 2010 update shows that states are making significant progress toward this end and are expected to continue to do so in 2011.”

By Nancy in Uncategorized

Strengthening Institutions Program Grants Now Available

Monday, July 19th, 2010

The Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education recently announced a notice inviting applications in the Federal Register for the Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP). SIP provides $17.8 million in discretionary grants to eligible institutions of higher education to help them become self sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students, by providing funds to improve and strengthen the institution’s academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability. The Department will give priority to applications that address the following areas:

The deadline to apply is August 5, 2010.

By Nancy in Uncategorized

IES Report: Graduation Rates Show Slight Increase

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Some states demonstrated a slight increase in the number of students who graduate on time from the 2006-7 to 2007-8 academic year, according to a recent U.S. Department of Education report.

Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2007-08, a report delivered by the National Center for Education Statistics showed that 16 states and the District of Columbia experienced a percentage point or greater increase in their averaged freshman graduation rate (AFGR), NCES’s measure of on-time graduation. Six states experienced a decrease by a percentage point.  The remaining 27 states showed changes only within a percentage point margin.

This data is important because graduation rates are an education system’s measure of success. CTE can fill the gaps to increase and improve the overall national graduation rate. It is clear that a great deal of work still needs to be done to increase the nation’s graduation rate.

Across states, AFGR varies widely. The nation demonstrated a 74.9 percent AFGR, however rates ranged from 51.3 percent in Nevada to 89.6 percent in Wisconsin.

The IES data further highlights the persistent gaps in graduation/dropout rates:

By Nancy in Uncategorized

 

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