Governors Support Uniform High School Graduation Standards
Governors from each of the fifty states have adopted a common definition for their high school graduation rate, the National Governors Association has announced . Fifty governors and 12 national organizations have signed onto “Graduation Counts: A Compact on State High School Graduation Data.”
The compact stems from a report released last year that outlines five task force recommendations states should use to develop a high-quality, comparable high school graduation measure, as well as complementary indicators of student progress and outcomes and data systems capable of collecting, analyzing and reporting the data.
Through the compact, governors and organizations represented on the task force agreed to implement the following recommendations:
* begin implementing a standard four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate;
* lead efforts to improve state data collection, reporting and analysis, and link data systems across the entire education pipeline from preschool through postsecondary education;
* take steps to implement additional indicators that provide richer information and understanding about outcomes for students and how well the system is serving them; and
* report annual progress on the improvement of their state high school graduation, completion and dropout rate data.
“The unanimous support of our nation’s governors for the Graduation Counts compact provides momentum for our efforts to ensure all students graduate from high school ready for college and work,” said John Thomasian, director of the NGA Center for Best Practices. “This compact will help us to improve the quality of education for American high school students.”
The NGA Task Force on State High School Graduation Data was convened last year in Washington. The task force included representatives from: eight governors’ offices, the American Federation of Teachers, the Business Roundtable, the Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Education Commission of the States, the Educational Testing Service, the Education Trust, Holland & Knight, the Manhattan Institute, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Education Association, Standard and Poor’s, the State Higher Education Executive Officers, and the Urban Institute.
Although they represented different constituencies, task force members found substantial consensus on which to build their findings and recommendations.
“Governors, chief state school officers, higher education executive officers, legislators, state boards of education, district officials, principals and teachers together must lead the charge to create better systems and methods of collecting, analyzing and reporting graduation and dropout data,” the report said.