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State Dropout Data Collection Practices: 1991-92 School Year

NCJ Number
L M Hoffman
Date Published
74 pages
The 1991-1992 school year was the first year for which States reported school district level data on the number and type of school dropouts in the Common Core of Data (CCD) Agency Universe Survey.
Survey information was provided on the number of male and female dropouts in five racial/ethnic categories for grades 7 through 12. The District of Columbia and 43 States reported dropout counts by school district. Of the 43 States, 14 followed CCD standards sufficiently. Followup study of cases in which State dropout reports differed from standard CCD definitions and procedures indicated extensive variation in 1991-1992. For the 14 states meeting CCD standards, data showed that 216,400 students dropped out of grades 9 through 12. Highest dropout rates were in Arizona (11.1 percent) and the District of Columbia (11.5 percent), while lowest dropout rates were in Massachusetts (3.2 percent) and Pennsylvania (3.7 percent). Dropout rates varied by grade, with the lowest rates in grade 7. Among 40 states reporting data on school dropouts, 56 percent of grade 9 through 12 dropouts were male and 44 percent were female; 1.8 percent were American Indians or Alaskan Natives, 2.4 percent were Asians or Pacific Islanders, 23.8 percent were black, 21.2 percent were Hispanic, and 50.8 percent were white. Recommendations to improve data collection on school dropout rates are offered. Appendixes contain the Dropout Task Force Report, dropout reporting interview questions, and a technical note on dropout rate estimates and detailed tables. 19 tables and 1 figure