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Graduation Rate Indicator FAQs

Frequently asked questions relating to the California School Dashboard (Dashboard) Graduation Rate Indicator.
Does the combined four- and five-year graduation rate apply to both Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) and non-DASS schools?

Yes. Because the U.S. Department of Education denied California’s waiver requesting the continued use of modified methods for DASS schools, beginning with the 2022 California School Dashboard, DASS schools no longer receive the one-year DASS graduation rate. Rather, these schools receive the combined four- and five-year graduation rate and this rate is used to determine local educational agency and school support (i.e., Differentiated Assistance and Comprehensive Support and Improvement/Additional Targeted Support and Improvement).

When a student transfers between two schools, is the student included in both schools’ graduation rate?

No. Only the last school where a student is enrolled is held accountable for the student’s graduation status.

I have several students who earned the GED. Are these students counted as graduates?

No. The U.S. Department of Education requires that only students who earn a standard diploma be counted as graduates.

I have a fourth-year senior who is in the Class of 2023. The student attended summer school and graduated on August 15, 2023. Will this student be included in the graduation rate for the Class of 2023?

Yes. Because August 15th is the cut-off date for students to be counted as a graduate in 2023, this student will be included as a graduate for the Class of 2023.

Are grade 11 early graduates counted in the year that they graduate?

No. These students are counted as graduates in the cohort that they belong to. For example, if the student was part of the Class of 2023 but graduated a year early in grade eleven, then this student will not be counted in the Class of 2022 but included as a graduate in the Class of 2023.

Are students who transfer to an adult education program excluded from the denominator?

No. Based on an audit by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General, students who transfer to an adult education program or community college during their four or five-years of high school without earning a regular high school diploma are included in the cohort (denominator). These students are also counted as other transfers and excluded from the numerator.

If my graduation rate is 93.461 percent, does it get rounded up to the nearest tenth?

Yes. In this instance, a graduation rate of 93.461 is rounded up to 93.5 percent.

I have a student who moved in from another state and is in grade eleven. Will this student be placed in the cohort?

Yes. The cohort is adjusted by adding any student who may transfer in from out-of-state, a private school, or a different country as grade nine, grade ten, grade eleven, or grade twelve.

If, after four years, a student did not graduate, will the student be part of the denominator of the graduation rate at the end of the fourth year?

Yes. For example, if the student enrolled in 2019–20 and did not graduate by 2022–23, the student will be included in the denominator in 2022–23 but excluded from the numerator because the student did not graduate. However, if the student receives a standard high school diploma in the following year (as a fifth-year senior), the student will be included in both the numerator and denominator of the combined rate in 2023–24 (i.e., 2024 Dashboard).


Questions: Analysis Measurement & Accountability Reporting | | 916-319-0863 
Last Reviewed: Friday, October 6, 2023