How the States Got Their Rates: 2015 Graduates

Thursday, November 3, 2016Printer-friendly version

As the graduation rate continues to rise, it’s worth continuing to examine the diplomas that make up that rate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Achieve analyzed the 95 diploma options across the country and looked at which states expect students to take courses so that when they graduate, students are academically prepared for life after high school. This analysis looked at how many diplomas a state offered, whether a state offered a diploma that meets college- and career-ready (CCR) course expectations in English language arts (ELA)/literacy and mathematics course requirements, assessment requirements associated with earning a diploma, and if or how student outcomes were reported by diploma type. The second year of this analysis reveals that while many states have multiple diploma options for students, and several states are adding additional endorsement options, many states still do not publicly report how many students earn which diploma. The lack of transparency means that in most states there continue to be more questions than answers about the true value of a high school diploma.