Texas has the 10th highest overall graduation among 34 states that are reporting the National Governors Association (NGA) Compact Graduation Rate for the Class of 2010, according to a comparison study done by the Texas Education Agency.
The Compact Rate shows the overall graduation rate for Texas public school students was 84.3 percent. When broken down by ethnic or racial groups, Texas ranks even higher.
Among the 34 states currently reporting the Compact Rate, also known as a four-year on-time graduation rate, Texas had the second highest graduation rate for white students at 91.6 percent and, along with Arkansas, the fourth highest rate for Hispanic students with 78.8 percent. Texas also had the fifth highest rate for African-American students at 78.8 percent.
When comparing the overall graduation rate, only the following states ranked higher than Texas: Iowa, Illinois, Vermont, North Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Virginia and Arkansas.
“Once again the numbers show that even with increasing the standards, Texas is graduating more students including higher numbers of our minority students,” said Robert Scott, Texas Commissioner of Education. “But we still have work to do to move the numbers even higher.”
The NGA Compact is a four-year, on-time graduation rate that emphasizes using actual student data over estimates. The Compact Rate is widely considered to be the best practical graduation rate capable of accurately comparing graduation rates across the nation.
In 2005, the governors of all 50 states signed the Graduation Counts Compact, and the Compact Rate became the accepted measure for calculating graduation rates. However, some states have not yet released results using this calculation.
Texas is considered a forerunner in the effort to institute the Compact Rate having been the first state to begin calculating and reporting a four-year, on-time graduation rate beginning with the class of 1996.
“The Compact Rate gives us and the rest of the nation a true apples-to-apples comparison of graduation rates in every state,” Scott said. “With the Compact Rate we have a clear idea of the numbers of students completing high school on-time within the four-year window.”
“Early on Texas realized that reporting a solid, concise graduation rate was important. Scott said.
Of the Texas students who did not-graduate within four years, 7.2 percent continued in high school the fall after their expected ‘graduation date, 1.3 percent received GED certificates,
2 and 7.3 percent dropped out. Students who continue high school in the fall after their expected graduation date or receive a GED are not considered graduates in the Compact Rate.
The Compact Rate differs from other graduation rates in two critical ways: (1) the data is comprised of graduates who receive regular or advanced diplomas within four years of entering ninth grade, and (2) the Compact Rate is derived from actual student-level data, rather than the estimated student counts used to calculate measures such as leaver and attrition rates.
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