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Graduation Rate Calculation

Methodology for measuring performance on Graduation Rate.

For traditional high schools the graduation rate is based on the number of students who graduate with a regular high school diploma within four years.

For schools participating in the Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) program a modified method will be used to calculate the graduation rate in order to fairly evaluate the success and progress of DASS schools, which serve high-risk students. This modified method is based on students who are in grade twelve and is referred to as the DASS Graduation Rate.

Defining a Graduation Cohort

For traditional schools, a graduation cohort is a group of high school students who could potentially graduate with a regular high school diploma within four years of entering grade nine.

For DASS schools, a graduation cohort is a group of students who:

  • Attend a DASS school
  • Have been assigned to grade twelve, and
  • Received (1) a regular high school diploma or (2) an alternative certification approved for DASS schools.

Calculations

In the 2018 Dashboard, performance on this measure is determined by (1) the percent of students in the Class of 2018 who graduated, and (2) whether results (i.e., the graduation rate) improved or declined between 2017 and 2018.

Current Year Graduation Rate Formula

Number of Students Who Graduated

divided by

Total Number of Students in the Prior Year Graduating Cohort

Difference from Prior Year Graduation Rate Formula

Current Year Graduation Rate minus Prior Year Graduation Rate

 

For details on who should be counted in the numerator and denominator, please see the California School Dashboard Technical Guide: 2018–19 School Year.

Determining a Performance Level

Based on the current year and prior year data, a performance level (or color) will be given for this measure. The performance level is determined by using a five-by-five colored grid.

Example: Big League High School has the following graduation rate data:

  • In the current year, its graduation rate was 96.0 percent
  • From the prior year to the current one, the graduation rate declined by 0.9 percentage points

Using the five-by-five grid for the Graduation Rate, we see that a graduation rate of 96 percent is considered "Very High" (see left column). Additionally, a decline of 0.9 percentage points from the prior year falls into the "Maintained" level (i.e., declined or increased by less than 1.0 percent.) on the grid, "Very High" and "Maintained" intersect at the Blue performance level, which is the highest level possible.

Performance Level Declined Significantly

from Prior Year (by 5.1% or greater)
Declined

from Prior Year (by 1.0% to 5.0%)
Maintained

from Prior Year (declined or
increased by less than 1.0%)
Increased

from Prior Year (by 1.0% to 4.9%)
Increased Significantly

from Prior Year (by 5.0% or greater)
Very High

95.0% or greater in Current Year
N/A
Blue

Blue

Blue League High School

Blue
Blue
High

90.0% to less than 95.0% in Current Year
Orange
Yellow
Green
Green
Blue
Medium

80.0% to less than 90.0% in Current Year
Orange
Orange
Yellow
Green
Green
Low

67.0% to less than 80.0% in Current Year
Red
Orange
Orange
Yellow
Yellow
Very Low

Less than 67.0% in Current Year
Red
Red
Red
Red
Red
Questions: Academic Accountability Team | aau@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0863 
Last Reviewed: Friday, November 30, 2018