Dropout Analysis Reports, Briefs, and Graduates Summaries
Throughout the state of Texas, school districts report dropout information to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) at the end of the academic year. A dropout is defined as a student who is enrolled in school at some time during the school year but leaves school during the school year without an approved excuse. A dropout is also defined as a student who completes the school year and does not return the following year.
Annual Dropout Rates
An annual dropout rate is calculated by dividing the number of students who drop out during a single school year by the total number of students enrolled in the corresponding grade levels the same year. Annual dropout rates reported by different organizations may differ because: (a) different grade levels are included in the calculation; (b) dropouts are defined and counted differently; (c) total student counts are taken at different times of the school year; or (d) the data systems employed provide different levels of precision.
Completion/Student Status Rates
Due to interest on the part of educators and policy makers, TEA calculates longitudinal completion/student status rates for classes of first-time ninth grade students. The completion/student status rates reflect the outcomes of first-time ninth grade students after four years. The completion/student status rates include four components: graduates, continuing students, GED recipients, and dropouts. The method used to calculate the rates was developed so that the completion/student status rates and longitudinal dropout rate equal 100 percent. Two types of completion rates are reported: Completion I—the percentage of students graduating or continuing in high school and Completion II—the percentage of students graduating, continuing in high school, or received a GED certificate. For Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) the graduation rate is used. The graduation rate is the percentage of students who graduated with their cohort after four years.
Twelfth graders who have graduated as well as graduates from other grades. Graduates are classified in four categories: Minimum High School Program, Recommended High School Program, Distinguished Achievement Program, and Special Education students completing a Individualized Education Programs.
Use of Annual Dropout Rates and Completion Rates in the TEA Accountability System
When HISD and TEA determine schools’ accountability ratings, dropout and completion rates are major factors. For this reason, it is very important to have an agreed-upon definition of a dropout and compile accurate records on dropouts. A new accountability system was developed for the 2004 ratings cycle. Ratings were based on TAKS performance, ninth grade cohort completion rates, and grades 7-8 annual dropout rates.
The Texas Education Agency produces an annual publication, the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) Report, which presents the condition of education in public school districts throughout Texas. Using a variety of indicators, the AEIS provides much of the demographic and performance data for individual campuses and districts in the state of Texas. While these indicators provide a detailed account of Texas public schools, they often involve formulas that require detailed explanation to be fully understood. The purpose of these research reports and briefs is to familiarize the reader with the following AEIS indicators: Completion/Student Status Rate and Dropout Rate (Annual) and graduates, and to provide an explanation of the formulas employed to calculate each.