Policy Changes and the Graduation Rate

This timeline highlights changes in education policy and Texas’s statewide longitudinal graduation rate as calculated by TEA since the class of 1996. As the state adopted the more rigorous National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) dropout definition and increased TAKS performance standards, declines in the graduation rate between 2005 and 2007 were seen. The graduation rate increased between 2007 and 2010.

Grade 9 Longitudinal Graduation Rate, Texas Public Schools, 1996-2010

Source: Texas Education Agency, Division of Research and Analysis, Accountability Research Unit.
aTexas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.
bNational Center for Education Statistics (NCES) definition of dropout is a student who is enrolled in public school in grades 7-12, does not return to public school the following fall, is not expelled, and does not: graduate, receive a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, continue school outside the public school system, begin college, or die.

View a larger image of the chart.

Timeline of Policy Changes and the Longitudinal Graduation Rate

 

1996 Class of 1996 is the first class for which a longitudinal graduation rate is calculated using the current formula.
1998 In 1997-98, districts were required to provide information on all students who left the district, not just students who graduated or dropped out. As a result, TEA now has complete information on all students who left school for other reasons, such as transferring to another district, enrolling in a private school or other educational setting, or entering a General Educational Development (GED) certificate program.
2003 The 2004 state accountability ratings take into account the 2003 longitudinal graduation rates when evaluating campuses and districts.
2005 The class of 2005 is the first class required to pass exit-level TAKS in order to graduate.
2006 TAKS passing standard for graduation becomes more rigorous in the second year of its phase-in. Texas adopts the NCES dropout definition, and the longitudinal graduation rate is no longer comparable with previous years. The NCES dropout definition was phased in over a four-year period. Students who left school in 2002-03, 2003-04, and 2004-05 were subject to a different dropout definition than students who left in 2005-06. This means that a student who left in 2004-05 and was not considered a dropout might have been considered a dropout if he or she left in 2005-06 for the same reason. For example, a student who left in 2004-05 after completing all coursework requirements but failing the exit-level examination was not counted as a dropout. If a student left in 2005-06 for the same reason, the student was counted as a dropout. View more information on the phase-in of the NCES definition.  
2007 TAKS passing standard for graduation becomes more rigorous in the third year of phase-in and reaches the recommended standard. The NCES dropout definition applies to two years of the graduation rate calculation.
2008 NCES dropout definition is not yet fully phased-in. It applies to three years of the graduation rate calculation.
2009 NCES dropout definition is fully incorporated. It applies to all four years of the graduation rate calculation.

Dropout Information Homepage


Contact Information
For questions or comments about completion rates, graduation rates, dropout rates, or leavers, please e‑mail the Division of Research and Analysis, Accountability Research Unit, or contact the unit by phone at 512-475-3523.

For questions or comments about dropout prevention, please contact the Texas Education Agency Department of State Initiatives by e‑mail or by phone at 512-936-6060.

This page last updated September 26, 2012.

Page last modified on 9/27/2012 12:23:55 PM.