Annual dropout rate by race/ethnicity, public schools in Washington

Change Indicator

Why This Indicator Matters

Disaggregated data is presented to provide a preliminary understanding of disparities by race and ethnicity. On its own, this data tells a limited story about the populations it represents. We encourage users of this data to engage with communities of color to develop a more accurate and meaningful understanding than these data allow.
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Data Provided By
Note: Non-consecutive years appear adjacent in the trend line
because one or more years have been deselected.

Definitions: The percentage of students enrolled in 9-12 grades who dropped out of school in the reporting year without completing an approved high school program disaggregated by race/ethnicity, known as the annual dropout rate.   

As of the 2011-12 school year, OSPI no longer calculates the annual dropout rate and instead calculates the adjusted 4-year cohort dropout rates.

Data Source: Data for this measure come from the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Data were retrieved from "Graduation and Drop out Statistics" reports, and Appendices at

S: Data have been suppressed due to low numbers. Data were suppressed if the enrollment of students served was 10 or less. 

Footnotes: Data last updated in April 2015 by Washington KIDS COUNT. 

As of the 2011-12 school year, OSPI no longer calculates the annual dropout rate and instead calculates the adjusted 4-year cohort dropout rates.

The annual dropout rate is:
(number of students with a code of dropout, unknown, GED completer) / (total number of students served (less transfer outs, juvenile detention, deceased))

OSPI suggests using caution when making comparisons across schools, districts, and states and from one year to another as different methods of calculations were used for on-time and extended graduation rates and annual and cohort dropout rates. For detailed discussion of methods and criteria that OSPI used to include or exclude groups (such as transfers in, transfers out etc.) in the calculations, please read their "Graduation and Drop out Statistics 2009-10 Report." 

English language learners (ELL) are defined by Washington state law as those students whose primary language is other than English and who have English language skill deficiencies that impair their learning in regular classrooms. Eligible ELLs in K-12 schools participate in OSPI Migrant and Bilingual programs.

Special Education students are children with disabilities participating in OSPI Special Education and related services.

Students eligible for free or reduced priced meals administered by OSPI Child Nutrition Services are low income.

Race/ethnicity is self-reported by either students or parents/guardians. When students report more than one racial/ethnic category, OSPI reports the category listed first. Therefore, the racial/ethnic categories are not mutually exclusive.