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					EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: June 4, 2008, 9 a.m. EDT

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            1.23 Million Students Will Fail to Graduate in 2008;
      New Data on U.S. Congressional Districts Detail Graduation Gaps
               Graduation Data Available for Every U.S. School District and State

             Report Finds State-Level P-16 Councils Are Increasingly Popular
             But Often Lack Support, Clear Agendas Necessary for Success
WASHINGTON—June 4, 2008—For today’s high school graduates, postsecondary education and training
have become virtual necessities for a successful adult life. Yet conflicting signals about what it takes to do
college-level work create confusion and significant hurdles for many students, according to a report released
today by Education Week.

The report, Diplomas Count 2008: School to College: Can State P-16 Councils Ease the Transition?, explores
the rapid growth of and challenges faced by state-level P-16 councils, which seek to better align educational
institutions from preschool through postsecondary by bringing together key representatives from all levels of
education, state government, business, and the community.

The report also includes the latest analysis by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center of
graduation rates nationwide, finding that an estimated 1.23 million students, or almost 30 percent of the class
of 2008, will fail to graduate with their peers. Native American, Hispanic, and African-American students are
among the groups with the lowest graduation rates.

In addition, a new analysis conducted for Diplomas Count—which is part of a multiyear project supported by the
Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—reports graduation rates for each U.S. congressional district.
The data will inform the lawmakers responsible for crafting the policies that shape the nation’s public schools.

“The nation and many states face severe challenges in graduating students from high school. This crisis
disproportionately strikes poor, minority, and urban youths. With the graduation rate rising less than one
percentage point annually in recent years, we still have much work to do,” said EPE Research Center Director
Christopher B. Swanson, who conducted the graduation-rate analysis.

Nationwide, about 71 percent of 9th graders make it to graduation four years later, according to data on the
class of 2005, the latest available. That figure drops to 58 percent for Hispanics, 55 percent for African-
Americans, and only 51 percent for Native Americans. While more than eight in 10 students graduate on time
in Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin, that rate drops to fewer than six in 10 in the
District of Columbia, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and South Carolina.

High school graduation rates likewise differ dramatically across U.S. congressional districts, ranging from fewer
than one-third of students graduating to more than nine out of 10. The 7th District of New York posts the lowest
graduation rate, at 24.5 percent, while the nearby 5th District of New Jersey tops the nation at 92.6 percent.

States Face Greater Accountability for Graduation Rates
In April, the U.S. Department of Education proposed changing the Title I regulations governing the methods
states can use to calculate graduation rates under the No Child Left Behind Act, as well as the ways in which
those rates factor into accountability decisions under the federal law. Those changes were prompted in part by
concerns about the lack of uniformity and accuracy of state-reported statistics. A new analysis released in
Diplomas Count finds that in all but one instance, the states' officially reported rates for the class of 2005 are
higher than those computed by the EPE Research Center.

Those discrepancies—which can exceed 30 percentage points—stem primarily from the states’ formulas. The
center’s review of state accountability plans shows that most states use a leaver-rate calculation, a method that
tends to produce inflated results because it relies heavily on undercounted dropout data.

States Look to P-16 Councils to Align Precollegiate, Postsecondary Education
Drawing on a 50-state database compiled by the Education Commission of the States, Diplomas Count finds
that P-16 councils are one of the most popular vehicles for strengthening the connections between public
schools and higher education. By bringing together key representatives from all levels of education, state
government, business, and the community, the councils seek to better align educational institutions from
preschool through postsecondary.

The report provides detailed analysis of the evolution and efforts of P-16 councils, case studies of three states’
experiences with such councils, and commentaries from four leading experts in the field. Among the key
         Councils popular, but untested: Forty P-16 councils have been formed in 38 states, most of them since 2005.
         Four states created councils in 2008.
         Most councils permanently established: Councils in 12 states were established by governor’s executive order,
         13 were authorized by state legislatures, and two formed by state board of education resolutions. The remaining
         councils are convened on a strictly voluntary basis, lacking formal legal authorization.
         Education agencies, governors at helm: The work of coordinating council activities typically falls to the state K-
         12 education department, higher education agency, or governor’s office alone or in combination. Early-learning
         and workforce-development agencies rarely play a leadership role.
         Councils put on a public face: Thirty-six of the 40 P-16 councils post information about their activities online,
         although the depth and breadth of that information varies considerably, according to an analysis by the EPE
         Research Center.

Updated Road Map to State Graduation Policies
To provide context for high school graduation rates and reform efforts, Diplomas Count examines state policies
in three key areas: definitions of college and workforce readiness, high school completion credentials, and exit
exams. Among the findings:
         College and work readiness: Fifteen states define what students should know and be able to do to be prepared
         for credit-bearing courses in college, while 26 states have a definition of work readiness.
         Advanced diplomas: Twenty-four states award advanced diplomas or some type of formal recognition to
         students who exceed standard graduation requirements.
         Exit exams: Twenty-three states require exit exams for the class of 2008. The number of states basing exit
         exams on standards at the 10 grade level or higher has increased from six in 2002 to 19 in 2008.

Special Web-Only Features Available at edweek.org
State Graduation Briefs for every state feature detailed, state-specific data on graduation rates and accountability,
definitions of college and work readiness, and policies related to high school graduation requirements.

EdWeek Maps, a powerful online mapping service, enables users to zoom in on each of the nation’s schools and districts,
click a button, and compare district, state, and national figures at maps.edweek.org.

                                Visit Diplomas Count at www.edweek.org/go/dc08

The EPE Research Center is the research division of the Bethesda, Md.-based nonprofit Editorial Projects in Education.
The Research Center conducts policy surveys and collects data for the Quality Counts, Diplomas Count, and Technology
Counts annual reports and maintains the Education Counts and EdWeek Maps online databases. It contributes research
and data to Education Week and edweek.org. The EPE Research Center is on the Web at www.edweek.org/rc.
Diplomas Count 2008
online www.edweek.org/go/dc08

                                     PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES, CLASS OF 2005                                                                  FIVE-YEAR TREND
                                                                                                                                                           (ALL STUDENTS)
                               All                                      American                                                                    Graduation rate   Change
                            students         Male          Female        Indian           Asian        Hispanic         Black          White         class of 2001  2001 to 2005
             Alabama          61.3%           †              †              †               †              †              †              †                61.6%                 -0.4%
               Alaska         67.6           61.8%          71.7%          46.8%           67.8%          24.4%          59.0%          74.4%             64.1                  +3.5
              Arizona         73.3           69.8           77.5           52.4            88.9           65.0           71.6           78.7              67.3                  +6.0
            Arkansas          73.2           69.2           76.5           51.2             ‡              ‡             65.2           74.8              70.8                  +2.4
            California        70.1           65.7           74.1           52.4            84.0           59.5           57.0           78.2              69.2                  +0.9
            Colorado          74.2           70.2           78.4           46.3            80.1           55.7           64.5           80.4              69.1                  +5.0
         Connecticut          78.1           74.9           80.8           25.9            79.0           53.5           59.6           84.2              76.8                  +1.3
            Delaware          60.1           55.0           64.0            ‡              81.7            ‡             48.9           67.4              64.3                  -4.2
District of Columbia          57.6           51.2            ‡              ‡              81.3           51.3            ‡             84.1              65.2                  -7.5
               Florida        60.8           56.1           65.5            ‡              85.6           60.0           48.8           65.2              53.0                  +7.8
              Georgia         58.1           52.8           63.8           45.1            80.9           39.1           49.0           64.5              55.5                  +2.6
               Hawaii         67.4           64.6           70.4           49.3            68.9           60.5           51.1           64.2              66.0                  +1.4
                Idaho         76.6           74.4           78.1           48.4             ‡             56.2            ‡             79.2              79.8                  -3.2
               Illinois       76.7           72.0           77.9           34.4            83.5           56.3           52.4           83.2              74.8                  +1.9
              Indiana         73.6           67.7           76.3           39.4            71.5           51.1           53.5           74.7              72.5                  +1.2
                  Iowa        82.8           80.5           83.4            ‡              76.2           54.0           58.6           84.8              78.7                  +4.1
              Kansas          74.3           70.8           75.8           46.1            72.2           46.2           54.7           79.0              74.3                  +0.0
            Kentucky          71.5           66.2           76.0           21.8            82.0           49.4           58.2           72.4              65.3                  +6.2
            Louisiana         54.7           48.3           60.5            ‡              49.4           36.8           39.9           62.8              64.1                  -9.4
                Maine         77.2           72.8           78.7           31.8            66.5            ‡              ‡             76.6              72.1                  +5.2
            Maryland          73.6           68.3           78.4           63.8            91.6           63.3           61.6           80.3              75.3                  -1.7
     Massachusetts            74.7           69.0           75.5           37.3            68.8           49.0           50.8           78.2              71.0                  +3.6
            Michigan          70.5           67.3           74.2           48.2            75.5           45.9           42.2           76.7              71.0                  -0.5
           Minnesota          78.1           77.3           81.2           40.5            69.9           41.9           38.8           83.3              78.9                  -0.8
          Mississippi         61.8           55.4           68.6           34.1            57.9           45.6           59.4           64.4              58.0                  +3.8
             Missouri         76.5           73.5           79.0            ‡              81.3           59.0           60.4           79.2              73.0                  +3.5
             Montana          75.7           73.2           78.2           50.0             ‡             57.7           59.2           79.3              77.4                  -1.7
            Nebraska          79.6           75.0           80.8           28.9             ‡             55.0           42.4           84.4              77.7                  +1.9
              Nevada          45.4            †              †              †               †              †              †              †                54.7                  -9.3
   New Hampshire              77.1            †              †              †               †              †              †              †                74.1                  +3.1
         New Jersey           83.3           81.1           84.0            ‡              86.3           64.4           62.2           87.3              83.4                  -0.1
         New Mexico           54.1           49.1           59.8           45.3            72.6           49.4           52.1           64.2              61.4                  -7.3
            New York          68.0           73.2           79.2           42.8             ‡              ‡              ‡             80.4              61.8                  +6.2
      North Carolina          67.0           61.3           73.3           47.0            78.5           53.7           58.4           72.7              63.5                  +3.5
       North Dakota           79.2           76.3           80.2           37.9             ‡              ‡              ‡             81.8              79.9                  -0.7
                  Ohio        75.9           72.6           78.1           39.7            78.4           48.1           49.9           80.2              70.9                  +5.0
           Oklahoma           70.8           70.0           73.3           63.8             ‡             54.0           58.5           72.3              70.1                  +0.7
              Oregon          70.4           69.8           76.8           42.7            78.3           60.7           44.0           74.0              73.3                  -2.9
       Pennsylvania           80.4           78.1           82.6           44.5            80.2           58.1           62.9           84.2              75.5                  +4.9
       Rhode Island           71.1           67.1           74.3            ‡              47.8           52.5           58.6           75.9              73.5                  -2.4
     South Carolina           55.6            †              †              †               †              †              †              †                50.8                  +4.9
       South Dakota           75.6           71.4           77.2           30.4             ‡             20.4           39.4           81.7              79.8                  -4.2
          Tennessee           65.4            †              †              †               †              †              †              †                57.5                  +7.9
                Texas         68.5           64.9           72.7           56.7            87.6           57.3           68.4           76.7              64.9                  +3.6
                  Utah        78.6           76.1           85.2           50.6            76.9           53.6           58.2           84.0              78.5                  +0.1
             Vermont          80.2           73.2           74.0           77.0             ‡              ‡              ‡             74.6              78.0                  +2.2
              Virginia        72.9           68.9           76.7           56.7            84.5           56.5           60.7           77.4              72.6                  +0.3
         Washington           68.8           64.8           74.6           42.7            75.5           56.9           51.8           72.3              62.8                  +6.0
       West Virginia          72.8           70.0           76.3           52.5             ‡              ‡             63.7           73.1              70.7                  +2.1
           Wisconsin          80.5           77.0           82.4           48.3            76.3           48.0           43.9           85.5              78.1                  +2.3
            Wyoming           74.2           69.4           75.3            ‡               ‡             54.6            ‡             75.6              72.4                  +1.8
                   U.S.       70.6%          67.8%          75.3%          50.6%           81.3%          57.8%          55.3%          77.6%             68.0%                 +2.6%

                          † Value not calculated because necessary data field(s) not reported in the Common Core of Data, the U.S. Department of Education database used for this analysis
                          ‡ Value not reported because of insufficient data for reliable estimate.

Editorial Projects in Education Research Center                      ▪ www.edweek.org/rc
Diplomas Count 2008
online www.edweek.org/go/dc08

 How Does the EPE Research Center Calculate Graduation Rates?
The Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI)
  The Editorial Projects in Education Research Center uses the Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI) method to calculate graduation
  rates. The CPI represents graduating from high school as a process rather than a single event. Specifically, it captures the four key
  steps a student must take in order to graduate: three grade-to-grade promotions (9 to 10, 10 to 11, and 11 to 12) and ultimately
  earning a diploma (grade 12 to graduation).

  The depiction below illustrates the CPI formula for calculating graduation rates. The class of 2004-05, the most recent year of data
  available, is used as an example.

            10th graders, fall 2005         11th graders, fall 2005       12th graders, fall 2005         Diploma recipients, spring 2005
 CPI    =
            9th graders, fall 2004
                                            10th graders, fall 2004
                                                                          11th graders, fall 2004
                                                                                                               12th graders, fall 2004

  By multiplying grade-specific promotion ratios together, the CPI estimates the likelihood that a 9th grader will complete high
  school on time with a regular diploma, given the schooling conditions prevailing during a particular school year. The CPI counts
  only students receiving standard high school diplomas as graduates, following the definition of a graduate established by the No
  Child Left Behind Act.

  We can use a simplified example to further demonstrate how the center calculates the CPI. Let us suppose that a particular school
  district currently has 100 students enrolled in each grade from 9 through 12. We will also assume that 5 percent of students
  currently in grades 9, 10, and 11 will drop out of school this year and that 5 percent of seniors will fail to earn a diploma at the end
  of the year. So, for example, we would count 100 9th graders at our starting point but only 95 10th graders the following fall.

                                       95                  95                 95                     95
                       CPI    =       100
                                                                                                             =     .815

  Carrying out the calculation (shown above), we arrive at a graduation rate of 81.5 percent for this district. Given conditions in this
  hypothetical district (an effective 5 percent annual attrition rate for students at each grade level), only about 82 out of every 100
  9th graders would be expected to finish high school with a diploma.

  The CPI can be calculated for public school districts that have students enrolled in the secondary grades (9 through 12). State and
  national statistics are generated by aggregating the district-level data upward.

Notes on the Methodology
  The EPE Research Center calculates graduation rates using data from the Common Core of Data (CCD), an annual census of public
  schools and school districts in the United States conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. Detailed methodological
  descriptions of the CCD can be found in technical documentation published by the National Center for Education Statistics
  (available online at nces.ed.gov/ccd). For the 2004-05 school year, diploma counts for Alabama were not reported to the CCD. The
  EPE Research Center obtained those data from the state education agency.

  The center’s goal is to provide a direct measure of the graduation rate for each of the roughly 11,000 school districts in the nation
  that enroll high school students. It was possible to do this for districts serving the vast majority (96 percent) of all public school
  students nationwide. But in a small number of cases—for example, if a particular piece of information needed to calculate the CPI
  indicator was missing—the center could not directly compute the graduation rate.

  To avoid the unintentional disclosure of information about individual students, the EPE Research Center does not report results
  for very small demographic subgroups, those with fewer than five students in a given category. Additional procedures are
  employed to ensure that results are only reported in situations where sufficient data are available for a reliable calculation.

Editorial Projects in Education Research Center     ▪ www.edweek.org/rc
Diplomas Count 2008
online www.edweek.org/go/dc08


                                                                                           Projection of Graduates and Nongraduates
               Class of 2008:                                                                             Projected outcomes            Total
            1.23 Million Students                                                                               2007-08               students
                                                                                        9th graders                                   lost each
            Will Fail to Graduate                                                        2004-2005    Graduates       Nongraduates   school day
                                                                          Alabama            64,505      39,520           24,985         139
                                                                            Alaska           11,934       8,069            3,865          21
                                                                           Arizona           74,445      54,593           19,852         110
Diplomas Count uses the                                                  Arkansas            38,225      27,965           10,260          57
Cumulative Promotion                                                     California         540,669     378,751          161,918         900
Index (CPI) method to         4.18 Million                               Colorado            64,383      47,743           16,640          92
measure high school           9th Graders in 2004-05                  Connecticut            44,634      34,870            9,764          54
graduation rates as the                                                  Delaware            10,706       6,435            4,271          24
percent of 9th graders who                                   District of Columbia             4,570       2,633            1,937          11
                                                                  Florida         248,943     151,444           97,499         542
will earn a diploma four
years later. The center can
                                                                 Georgia          141,984      82,474           59,510         331
project the expected                                              Hawaii           16,971      11,435            5,536          31
numbers of graduates and                                            Idaho          21,217      16,263            4,954          28
nongraduates for the class                                         Illinois       176,606     135,538           41,068         228
of 2008 by multiplying the                                       Indiana           86,901      63,981           22,920         127
CPI value for 2004-05 by                                              Iowa         40,876      33,843            7,033          39
                                                                           Kansas            39,054      29,011           10,043          56
the number of 9th grade       
                                                                         Kentucky            56,661      40,501           16,160          90
students enrolled that                                         Louisiana           58,589      32,069           26,520         147
year.                                                              Maine           16,759      12,945            3,814          21
                                                                         Maryland            81,270      59,780           21,490         119
                                                                  Massachusetts              64,321      48,023           16,298          91
                                                                          Michigan          153,729     108,424           45,305         252
                                                                        Minnesota            68,889      53,784           15,105          84
  2.95 Million                                                         Mississippi           40,118      24,796           15,322          85
                                                                          Missouri           78,089      59,752           18,337         102
  Graduates in 2008
                                                                          Montana            13,147       9,956            3,191          18
                                                                         Nebraska            25,129      19,998            5,131          29
                                                                 Nevada            36,056      16,369           19,687         109
                                                      New Hampshire                18,564      14,320            4,244          24
                                                            New Jersey            110,862      92,388           18,474         103
                                                            New Mexico             30,134      16,297           13,837          77
                                                               New York           261,936     178,031           83,905         466
                                                         North Carolina           125,375      84,013           41,362         230
                                                          North Dakota              8,524       6,753            1,771          10
                                                                                Ohio        157,212     119,355           37,857         210
                                                                        Oklahoma             49,977      35,366           14,611          81
                                                                           Oregon            45,612      32,126           13,486          75
                                                                    Pennsylvania            156,169     125,591           30,578         170
                                                                    Rhode Island             12,722       9,047            3,675          20
                                                                  South Carolina             64,175      35,697           28,478         158
 = Approximately             1.23 Million                          South Dakota             10,311       7,800            2,511          14
        42,000 students                                                Tennessee             80,890      52,908           27,982         155
                              Nongraduates in 2008                           Texas          374,403     256,312          118,091         656
                                                                                Utah         37,352      29,367            7,985          44
                                                                Vermont             8,528       6,839            1,689           9
                                                                 Virginia         107,753      78,558           29,195         162
                                                             Washington             89,781      61,780           28,001         156
                                                                    West Virginia            24,033      17,503            6,530          36
                                                                        Wisconsin            76,042      61,178           14,864          83
                                                                         Wyoming              7,219       5,358            1,861          10
                                                                              U.S.       4,176,954    2,947,677       1,229,277        6,829

Editorial Projects in Education Research Center        ▪ www.edweek.org/rc
Diplomas Count 2008
online www.edweek.org/go/dc08


                                  State-reported                          Percentage-point difference                               State calculation method
                                  graduation rate                         State reported rate minus CPI rate                                for NCLB
                                   class of 2005                                   (class of 2005)                                        class of 2008
               New Mexico                 85.0%*                                30.9                                                      Cohort rate†
            North Carolina                95.0*                                 28.0                                                       Cohort rate
                  Delaware                83.7                                  23.6                                                       Leaver rate
                Mississippi               85.0*                                 23.2                                                       Cohort rate
           South Carolina                 77.1*                                 21.5                                                       Cohort rate
                    Nevada                64.9                                  19.5                                                       Leaver rate
                  Michigan                87.7*                                 17.2                                                      Cohort rate†
                    Indiana               89.9*                                 16.3                                                       Cohort rate
                    Kansas                90.2                                  15.9                                                       Leaver rate
                      Texas               84.0                                  15.5                                                       Cohort rate
                  California              85.0                                  14.9                                                       Leaver rate
             Rhode Island                 85.0                                  13.9                                                       Leaver rate
             South Dakota                 89.1                                  13.5                                                       Leaver rate
               Connecticut                91.2                                  13.1                                                       Leaver rate
                Tennessee                 77.9                                  12.5                                                       Leaver rate
      District of Columbia                69.9                                  12.3                                                       Leaver rate
                     Hawaii               79.6                                  12.2                                                       Cohort rate
                 Minnesota                90.1                                  12.0                                                       Leaver rate
                 Oklahoma                 82.4                                  11.6                                                       Leaver rate
             West Virginia                84.3                                  11.5                                                       Leaver rate
                  Kentucky                82.8                                  11.3                                                       Leaver rate
                    Georgia               69.4                                  11.3                                                       Leaver rate
                    Oregon                81.7                                  11.3                                                       Leaver rate
                  Maryland                84.8                                  11.2                                                       Leaver rate
                     Illinois             87.4                                  10.7                                                       Cohort rate
               Washington                 79.3                                  10.5                                                       Cohort rate
                        Ohio              86.2                                  10.3                                                       Leaver rate
                      Maine               87.2                                  10.0                                                       Leaver rate
                      Idaho               86.6                                  10.0                                                       Leaver rate
         New Hampshire                    86.6                                  9.5                                                      Composite rate
                   Missouri               85.8                                  9.3                                                        Leaver rate
                   Montana                84.8                                  9.1                                                        Leaver rate
                  New York                77.0                                  9.0                                                        Cohort rate
                  Nebraska                88.0                                  8.4                                                        Leaver rate
                 Wisconsin                88.8                                  8.3                                                        Leaver rate
                     Florida              69.0                                  8.2                                                        Cohort rate
                  Arkansas                81.3                                  8.1                                                      Persistence rate
               New Jersey                 91.3*                                 8.0                                                        Leaver rate
                        Iowa              90.7                                  7.9                                                        Leaver rate
             North Dakota                 86.7                                  7.5                                                        Leaver rate
                  Wyoming                 81.5                                  7.3                                                        Leaver rate
             Pennsylvania                 87.6                                  7.2                                                        Leaver rate
                   Vermont                87.2*                                 7.0                                                        Cohort rate
                    Virginia              79.5                                  6.6                                                        Leaver rate
                  Colorado                80.1                                  5.9                                                        Cohort rate
                        Utah              82.1                                  3.5                                                        Leaver rate
                    Arizona               75.0                                     1.7                                                     Cohort rate
                     Alaska               61.4                           -6.2                                                              Leaver rate
                   Alabama                 ―                                                                                               Leaver rate
                  Louisiana                ―                                                                                              Cohort rate†
           Massachusetts                   ―                                                                                              Cohort rate†
      * State used a different method to calculate graduation rates for the class of 2005 than it will use for the class of 2008.
      † State plans to start implementing a cohort rate for the class of 2008.
      For descriptions of state calculation methods, see Diplomas Count 2008 (Page 36).

Editorial Projects in Education Research Center               ▪ www.edweek.org/rc
Diplomas Count 2008
online www.edweek.org/go/dc08

                          DEFINING READINESS                                                                                                     HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION CREDENTIALS
                                                                                                                             K-12 work-            Total
                                                                                                                              readiness         number of
                                                                                                                             definition is        credits                                     Advanced
                          State has                                             State has                                      different         required                                  recognition for
                           defined                                               defined                                         from             to earn                                     exceeding           Focus for
                           college           How college readiness                work         How work readiness              college           standard             Standard diploma         standard           advanced
                          readiness               is defined                    readiness           is defined                readiness          diploma                    options         requirements         recognition
             Alabama                                                               Yes                  skills                                       24                  standard, CTE            Yes           academic, CTE
               Alaska                                                              Yes               standards                                       21                     standard
              Arizona                                                              Yes               standards                                       20                     standard             Yes                academic
            Arkansas         Yes            courses, standards, tests              Yes        courses, standards, tests                              21                     standard
            California       Yes                    courses                        Yes               standards                     Yes               13                     standard             Yes                academic
            Colorado                                                                                                                                                        standard
         Connecticut      in progress                                               Yes                 skills                                        20                    standard
            Delaware                                                                                                                                  22                    standard
District of Columbia                                                                Yes                 skills                                       23.5                   standard
               Florida                                                                                                                                24                    standard             Yes            academic, CTE
              Georgia     in progress                                               Yes            skills, standards                                  22               college prep, CTE         Yes            academic, CTE
               Hawaii                                                                                                                                 22                    standard             Yes              academic
                Idaho                                                                                                                                 21                    standard
               Illinois                                                                                                                               16                    standard
              Indiana        Yes            courses, standards, tests               Yes       courses, standards, tests                               20                    standard             Yes                academic
                  Iowa                                                          in progress                                                                                 standard             Yes               local option
              Kansas                                                                                                                                  21                    standard
            Kentucky          Yes           courses, skills, standards, tests                                                                         22                    standard             Yes            academic, CTE
            Louisiana     in progress                                           in progress                                                           23                    standard             Yes            academic, CTE
                Maine     in progress                                           in progress                                                           16                    standard
            Maryland      In progress                                               Yes            skills, standards                                  21                    standard             Yes               local option
     Massachusetts        in progress                                               Yes                standards                                                            standard             Yes                academic
             Michigan         Yes               courses, standards                  Yes            skills, standards               Yes                                      standard
           Minnesota          Yes                   standards                   in progress                                                          21.5                   standard
          Mississippi                                                                                                                                 20                    standard
             Missouri                                                               Yes               standards                                       22                    standard             Yes                academic
             Montana      in progress                                               Yes               standards                                       20                    standard
            Nebraska                                                                                                                            200 credit hrs.             standard
              Nevada                                                                                                                                 22.5                standard, CTE           Yes                academic
   New Hampshire                                                                    Yes              standards                                      19.75                   standard             Yes               local option
         New Jersey           Yes              courses, standards                   Yes              standards                     Yes                22                    standard
         New Mexico           Yes           courses, standards, tests               Yes       courses, standards, tests                               23                    standard
            New York          Yes           courses, standards, tests               Yes       courses, standards, tests                               22                    standard             Yes            academic, CTE
      North Carolina      in progress                                           in progress                                                           20                    standard             Yes              academic
       North Dakota                                                                 Yes               standards                                       21                    standard
                  Ohio    in progress                                                                                                                 20                    standard             Yes            academic, CTE
           Oklahoma           Yes           courses, standards, tests           in progress                                                           23                    standard             Yes              academic
              Oregon                                                                Yes               standards                                       22                    standard
       Pennsylvania           Yes                     standards                     Yes               standards                                                             standard             Yes                academic
       Rhode Island       in progress                                           in progress                                                           20                    standard
     South Carolina           Yes           courses, skills, standards              Yes             courses, tests                 Yes                24                    standard
       South Dakota                                                                                                                                   22                    standard             Yes                academic
          Tennessee           Yes                  courses, skills                  Yes            skills, standards               Yes                20                    standard
                Texas     in progress                                                                                                                 22                    standard             Yes                academic
                  Utah                                                                                                                                15                    standard
             Vermont                                                                                                                                  20                    standard
              Virginia                                                              Yes           skills, standards                                   22                    standard             Yes            academic, CTE
         Washington           Yes                   standards                       Yes           skills, standards                                   19                    standard
       West Virginia          Yes              courses, skills, tests               Yes         courses, skills, tests             Yes                24                    standard
           Wisconsin      in progress                                           in progress                                                           13                    standard
            Wyoming                                                                                                                                   13                    standard             Yes                academic
                U.S.          15                          —                         26                    —                         6               20.62                     —                   24                    —

            NOTES:                                                                                                     FOOTNOTES:
            ● CTE refers to career and technical education.
                                                                                                                       1. Credit hours for Nebraska are not expressed in Carnegie units.
            ● A dash (—) in U.S. row indicates that a total was not appropriate.
                                                                                                                       2. Subject-specific credits for states that do not have total course-credit requirements are not listed in
            ● Exit-exam subjects tested: E=English (includes writing), M=Mathematics, S=Science,                       the total credits column and are not reflected in the national average for total credit requirements.
               H=History/Social Studies, and T=Technology
                                                                                                                       3. Students must pass either the science or social studies components of the Graduation Exit
                                                                                                                       Examination (GEE) to receive a standard diploma.
            SOURCE: For information on indicator definitions and sources, see Diplomas Count 2008 (Page 38).
                                                                                                                       4. To receive the standard diploma, students must earn at least six verified credits by passing end-
                                                                                                                       of-course assessments. One of these credits may be earned by passing a student-selected test in
                                                                                                                       computer science, technology, career and technical education or other areas.
                                                                                                                       5. For the graduating classes of 2008-2012, students must pass an exit exam in reading and writing,
                                                                                                                       but may meet the state’s math requirement by passing its standardized math assessment or
                                                                                                                       continuing to earn math credits until they graduate.

Editorial Projects in Education Research Center                                    ▪ www.edweek.org/rc
Diplomas Count 2008
online www.edweek.org/go/dc08

                           HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION CREDENTIALS                                                           HIGH SCHOOL EXIT EXAMS
                                                                                                  K-12 system offers                                                 State finances
                                                   Alternative                                    pathway leading to                                                  remediation
                                                  credential for                                       industry-                                                            for
                               Basis for         not meeting all           Basis for                  recognized                                   Exam based on        students       Appeals or
                               advanced             standard              alternative                certificate or    State has       Subjects   standards for 10th     failing    alternative route
                              recognition         requirements             credential                   license        exit exam        tested     grade or higher     exit exams      to diploma
              Alabama           courses                Yes                 disabilities                    Yes            Yes           EMSH             Yes               Yes             Yes
                Alaska                                 Yes               fail exit exam                    Yes            Yes             EM             Yes                               Yes
               Arizona            tests                                                                    Yes            Yes             EM             Yes               Yes             Yes
             Arkansas                                                                                      Yes         Class of 2010
             California           tests               Yes            pass proficiency test                 Yes             Yes           EM              Yes              Yes              Yes
          Connecticut                                                                                    Yes
             Delaware                                 Yes                  disabilities
 District of Columbia                                 Yes                  disabilities                  Yes
                Florida    courses, GPA, tests        Yes          disabilities, fail exit exam          Yes               Yes           EM              Yes              Yes              Yes
               Georgia        courses, GPA            Yes          disabilities, fail exit exam          Yes               Yes          EMSH             Yes                               Yes
                Hawaii        courses, GPA            Yes                  disabilities                  Yes
                 Idaho                                                                                                     Yes           EM              Yes                               Yes
                Illinois                                                                                 Yes
               Indiana       courses, GPA                                                                Yes               Yes           EM                               Yes              Yes
                   Iowa       local option                                                               Yes
             Kentucky         courses, tests          Yes                  disabilities                  Yes
             Louisiana     courses, GPA, tests        Yes          disabilities, fail exit exam          Yes               Yes         EMSH3             Yes              Yes              Yes
                 Maine                                                                                   Yes
             Maryland          local option           Yes                  disabilities                  Yes           Class of 2009
      Massachusetts        courses, GPA, tests        Yes                 local option                   Yes               Yes           EM              Yes              Yes              Yes
              Michigan                                Yes                 local option                   Yes
            Minnesota                                                                                                      Yes           EM                               Yes              Yes
           Mississippi                                Yes                  disabilities                  Yes               Yes          EMSH             Yes                               Yes
              Missouri     courses, GPA, tests                                                           Yes
               Nevada        courses, GPA             Yes          disabilities, fail exit exam          Yes               Yes          EMS              Yes                               Yes
    New Hampshire             local option            Yes                  local option                  Yes
          New Jersey                                                                                     Yes               Yes           EM              Yes                               Yes
          New Mexico                                  Yes                fail exit exam                  Yes               Yes          EMSH                              Yes              Yes
             New York            tests                Yes                  disabilities                  Yes               Yes          EMSH             Yes                               Yes
       North Carolina        courses, GPA             Yes          disabilities, fail exit exam                            Yes           EMT                              Yes              Yes
        North Dakota                                                                                     Yes
                   Ohio    courses, GPA, tests                                                           Yes               Yes          EMSH             Yes              Yes              Yes
            Oklahoma       courses, GPA, tests                                                           Yes           Class of 2012
               Oregon                                 Yes                 local option
        Pennsylvania              tests                                                                  Yes
        Rhode Island                                  Yes                  disabilities                  Yes
      South Carolina                                                                                     Yes               Yes           EM              Yes
        South Dakota         courses, GPA
           Tennessee                                  Yes          disabilities, fail exit exam          Yes               Yes           EMS             Yes
                 Texas       courses, tests           Yes                  local option                  Yes               Yes          EMSH             Yes              Yes
                   Utah                               Yes               district criteria                Yes
              Vermont                                                                                    Yes
               Virginia    courses, GPA, tests        Yes                  disabilities                  Yes               Yes         EMSH4             Yes              Yes              Yes
          Washington                                                                                     Yes               Yes           E5              Yes              Yes              Yes
        West Virginia                                 Yes                  disabilities                  Yes
            Wisconsin                                                                                    Yes
             Wyoming              tests               Yes                 local option
                 U.S.              —                   27                      —                         40                23            —               19                14              20

Editorial Projects in Education Research Center                          ▪ www.edweek.org/rc
Diplomas Count 2008
online www.edweek.org/go/dc08

Editorial Projects in Education Research Center   ▪ www.edweek.org/rc
Virginia B. Edwards

President, Editorial Projects in Education
Editor and Publisher, Education Week and edweek.org

As president of Editorial Projects in Education, Virginia B. Edwards oversees the nearly 90-
person nonprofit corporation that publishes Education Week and edweek.org. She has held the
post since 1997.

Ms. Edwards has been the editor of Education Week – the ―newspaper of record‖ for
precollegiate education in the United States – since 1989. The newspaper, which covers policy
developments in K-12 education and is published 45 times a year, has a paid circulation of about
50,000 and is read by more than 160,000 others. The newspaper also publishes three highly
anticipated reports each year: Diplomas Count, Quality Counts, and Technology Counts.

For the past 12 years, Ms. Edwards has also served as the editor and publisher of edweek.org.
Currently, edweek.org serves up 2 million page views to nearly 400,000 unique visitors each
month. In addition, 275,000-plus people now subscribe to the site’s weekly newsletter, EW
Update, and hundreds of thousands have subscribed to a growing array of themed weekly and
monthly e-newsletters. Among its other offerings, the site routinely hosts live Web chats with
key education players and houses the most comprehensive K-12 Research Center and education
news Archives to be found anywhere on the Web.

Ms. Edwards is also publisher of EPE’s quarterly Digital Directions magazine and the twice-a-
year Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook.

Before joining EPE, Ms. Edwards worked for two years for the Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching and, for the nearly 10 years before that, was an editor and reporter for
The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.

A frequent speaker on education policy issues, Ms. Edwards serves on the boards of several
nonprofit organizations, including the Center on Education Policy, the National Center for Public
Policy and Higher Education, the Student Press Law Center, and Learning Matters.
Christopher B. Swanson

Director, EPE Research Center
Editorial Projects in Education

Christopher B. Swanson, Ph.D., is the director of the EPE Research Center, a division of
Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit organization that publishes Education Week. In this
capacity, he oversees a staff of full-time researchers and interns who conduct annual policy
surveys, collect data, and perform analyses that appear in the Quality Counts, Technology
Counts, and Diplomas Count annual reports of Education Week. The Center also contributes data
and analysis to special coverage in Education Week, Teacher Magazine, and edweek.org,
publishes the monthly Research Connections e-Newsletter, hosts live Web chats on research
topics, and maintains the Education Counts and EdWeek Maps online data resources.

In 2006, the EPE Research Center and Education Week launched a four-year project to examine
graduation rates and related issues facing the nation’s high schools. The project’s major releases
include the annual Diplomas Count report and EdWeek Maps, a powerful GIS-based online data
tool that allows users to map out information on graduation rates and generate customized
reports for any school district in the nation. Among the EPE Research Center’s other major
projects is Quality Counts, an annual special issue of Education Week supported throughout its
12-year history by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Pew Center on the States.

Prior to joining EPE in 2005, Swanson was a senior research associate at the Urban Institute,
where his work focused on issues of federal policy and urban high school reform involving
small-school restructuring. During the past few years, much of Swanson's research has examined
the implementation of accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act. In particular,
he has extensively investigated the persistent challenges associated with accurately measuring
high school graduation rates, a required element of the performance-based accountability
mandated under the federal law. Swanson’s body of research on this topic has been widely
profiled in the national and regional media and has provided policy leaders important insights
into this critical issue.

Swanson’s work on a variety of educational policy issues—among them, standards and
accountability, instructional reform, high school dropout and completion, student mobility, and
public school choice—has been presented at national conferences and published in leading
scholarly journals and edited volumes. He is a frequent speaker and commentator on these and
other topics and has advised the Alliance for Excellent Education, the Council of Chief State
School Officers, the Government Accountability Office, the National Governors Association, the
U.S. Department of Education, and other organizations and foundations.
Amy M. Hightower

Deputy Director, EPE Research Center
Editorial Projects in Education

Amy M. Hightower, Ph.D., is the deputy director of the EPE Research Center, a division of
Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit organization that publishes Education Week. In this
capacity, she coordinates a staff of full-time researchers and interns who conduct annual policy
surveys, collect data, and perform analyses that appear in the Quality Counts, Technology
Counts, and Diplomas Count annual reports of Education Week. The Center also contributes data
and analysis to special coverage in Education Week, Teacher Magazine, and edweek.org,
publishes the monthly Research Connections e-Newsletter, hosts live Web chats on research
topics, and maintains the Education Counts and EdWeek Maps online data resources.

Prior to joining EPE in 2007, Hightower was an associate director for the American Federation
of Teachers’ Educational Issues Department, where her work focused on issues of federal policy,
accountability, school improvement, and data use. She wrote policy papers on these and other
topics, and co-designed a professional-development course for teachers and administrators in
how to use data to improve student learning. During the past few years, much of Hightower’s
research has examined the implementation of accountability provisions of the No Child Left
Behind Act.

Hightower has an extensive research background in educational policy. While pursuing her
Ph.D. at Stanford University’s School of Education, she served as a researcher for two national
centers—the National Center for Postsecondary Improvement and the Center for the Study of
Teaching and Policy. In those roles, she conducted research on school district reform, teacher
quality, and P-16 transitions. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., she was a researcher at Policy Studies
Associates Inc., where she specialized in state policy, school-to-work transitions, and
professional development.
Scott J. Cech

Associate Editor
Education Week

Scott J. Cech has been editing and writing stories about K-12 and higher education for eight
years. He has worked for Editorial Projects in Education since 2003, first as managing editor,
then as executive editor of Teacher Magazine, which was nominated several times for National
Magazine Awards. He became an associate editor at Education Week in 2007, and covers the
transition between high school and higher education, as well as assessment and workforce

Prior to joining EPE, Cech was the editor of Community College Week and an adjunct college
instructor. He has written for several newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer and the
San Francisco Examiner.

Cech graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a master’s degree in
journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
                                                              Go to edweek.org and enjoy unlimited use of the most
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                    Visit the epe ReseaRCh CenteR online
◗    Education Counts - More than 1,000 state-level
     K-12 education indicators from Quality Counts,
     Diplomas Count, teChnology Counts, and other
     sources, some of which have been tracked for a decade
◗    State Info - Key statistics from across the states on
     achievement, funding, class size, and more
◗    EdWeek Maps - A powerful online mapping tool that
     enables users to zoom in on each of the nation’s
     schools and districts, click a button, and produce a
     standardized report that compares district, state, and
     national figures
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     the EPE Research Center on the No Child Left Behind
     Act, school leadership, and school salaries, plus the
     annual Quality Counts, Diplomas Count, and
     teChnology Counts reports
◗    Chats - Transcripts of live Web chats, featuring
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              Access the Education Counts database to build
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