WASHINGTON—An update from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) shows that more than half of all states are now publicly reporting, or will have reported by the end of 2010, their high school graduation rates based on a common formula. The report, Implementing Graduation Counts: State Progress to Date, 2010, also indicates that 48 states are on track to report using this formula for the cohort graduating in 2011.

In 2005, governors of the 50 states signed the NGA Graduation Counts Compact to voluntarily implement a common formula for calculating their state's high school graduation rate, which focuses on: using a common, four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate formula; building state data collection and reporting capacity; developing additional student outcome indicators; and reporting annually on progress toward these commitments.

"Governors agreed to use a more consistent and accurate graduation rate formula because they understand that better information on student outcomes is critical for ensuring that all students graduate from high school prepared for college, work and life," said John Thomasian, director of the NGA Center. "The 2010 update shows that states are making significant progress toward this end and are expected to continue to do so in 2011."

NGA Graduation Counts Compact Formula

Graduation Rate = [students graduating within four years with a diploma]
[first-time entering ninth graders four years earlier]

For more information about NGA Center Education Division efforts, visit www.nga.org/center/edu.


Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation's governors and one of Washington, D.C.'s most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories and two commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. For more information, visit www.nga.org.