In 2005, the governors of all 50 states made an unprecedented commitment to voluntarily implement a common, more reliable formula for calculating their state’s high school graduation rate by signing the NGA Graduation Counts Compact. Five years later, progress is steady, and 48 states are expected to report high school graduation rates using the common formula by 2011.

In 2010:

  • Twenty-six states say they have reported, or will have reported by the end of 2010, their high school graduation rate data using the Compact formula.
  • Nineteen additional states plan to report the Compact rate by the end of 2011, and three more states plan to report this rate by the end of 2012. Two states received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to report the Compact rate after 2012.
  • In total, 48 states will report the Compact rate for the cohort graduating in 2011.
  • Eighteen of the 26 states reporting the Compact rate also say they use the Compact rate to meet the graduation rate requirements for adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • Up by seven since 2009, 49 states now report they have the data systems needed to track individual students and more accurately calculate the high school graduation rate using the Compact rate. Not all of these states have tracked a cohort the full five years from eighth grade through high school graduation.
  • Twenty-one of the 26 states reporting the Compact graduation rate also report additional indicators of student outcomes. One additional state plans to do so in the future.
  • All 26 states report or plan to report disaggregated graduation rate data for different student subgroups, such as minority students, disadvantaged students, and students with disabilities.
  • Twenty-one states have set graduation rate goals at 90 percent or higher.